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The 

Articles of Faith 
and 

Principles of Church 
Government 
for 

Original Free Will Baptists 

(of the English General Baptist Heritage) 




100 th 

Anniversary Edition 
Convention of 
Original Free Will Baptists 



2968 



3X 

3366.2 x , 

N8 The articles of faith and principles of c\ 

"012 



The 

ARTICLES OF FAITH 
AND 

PRINCIPLES OF CHURCH 
GOVERNMENT 
FOR 

ORIGINAL FREE WILL 
BAPTISTS 
(OF THE ENGLISH 
GENERAL BAPTIST 
HERITAGE) 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2014 



https://archive.org/details/articlesoffaithpOOnort 



The 

ARTICLES OF FAITH 
*~ AND 
PRINCIPLES OF CHURCH 
GOVERNMENT 
FOR 

ORIGINAL FREE WILL 
BAPTISTS 
(OF THE ENGLISH 
GENERAL BAPTIST 
HERITAGE) 

This is the 1976 revision of the Statement of Faith 
and Discipline for Original Free Will Baptists. 



[2012] 



3 



© Copyright 1976-2001 
Convention of Original Free Will Baptists 
P.O. Box 39 
Ayden, NC 28513-0039 



Printed by: 
Free Will Baptist Press Foundation, Inc. 
P.O. Box 159 
Ayden, NC 28513-0159 



Printed in U.S.A. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS ^ 

Table of Contents % to9 

Prefaces 11 to 20 

Church Covenant 29 

Articles of Faith 31 

Article 1. Doctrine of God 31 

Article 2. Doctrine of Christ..... ...35 

Article 3. Doctrine of the Holy Spirit 36 

Article 4. Doctrine of the Trinity 37 

Article 5. Doctrine of Creation and 

Divine Government 38 

Article 6. Doctrine of Man 39 

Article 7. Doctrine of the Church 40 

Article 8. Doctrine 

of the Holy Scriptures 41 

Article 9. Doctrine of Salvation 42 

General Provision: ... .42 

Faith: 42 

Repentance: 43 

Regeneration: 43 

Justification: 43 

Sanctification 44 

Article 10: Doctrine of the 

Perseverance of the Saints 46 

Article 11: Doctrine of 

Individual Accountability 47 

Article 12: Doctrine of Christian Service 48 



Article 13. Doctrine of the Lord's Day 49 

Article 14. Doctrine of Worship 50 

Article 15. Doctrine of Christian 

Stewardship 51 

Article 16. Doctrine of the 

Ordinances of the Gospel 52 

1. Christian Baptism 52 

2. The Lord's Supper...., 52 

3. Washing the Saints' Feet: 52 

Article 17. Doctrine of Death .55 

Article 18. Doctrine of Immortality 57 

Article 19. Doctrine of the Resurrection 58 

Article 20. Doctrine of the Last Things 59 

Article 21. Doctrine of Angels 60 

Article 22. Doctrine of Satan 61 

RULES OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT 

Introduction 63 

Section 1: THE LOCAL CONGREGATION 64 

The Organization of a 

Local Congregation: 65 

Board of Trustees: 65 

Clerk: 65 

Treasurer: 66 

Board of Finance: 66 

Board of Deacons: 67 

Pastor: 67 

Church Membership 68 

Christian Discipline 70 

Meetings of the Local Congregation 71 



Objects and Duties of the Local 

Congregation .....73 

Organization and Establishment 

of a New Church from a Mission 75 

Organization of a Mission 75 

Establishment of a 

New Church from a Mission 78 

Establishment and Organization 

of a Non-Mission Church 80 

Relationship of the Local Church 

to the Conference 81 

Section 2: THE MINISTRY 83 

The Call 83 

Examination and Qualifications for 

License: ..84 

Qualifications: 84 

Procedures: 84 

Examination and Qualifications for 

Ordination: 85 

Qualifications: 85 

Procedures: 86 

Examination and Procedure for 

Transfer from Another Denomination 87 

Relationship to the Conference 87 

Vocational Responsibilities 

of the Minister 91 

Section 3: THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE 93 

Introduction 93 



Organization 93 

Moderator 94 

Assistant Moderator .....94 

Treasurer 95 

Clerk 95 

Board of Trustees 96 

Ordaining Council 96 

Executive Committee 97 

Membership and Representation 100 

Rules of Conference Government 102 

Objects and Duties of the Conference 103 

Section 4: CONVENTION OF ORIGINAL 

FREE WILL BAPTISTS 105 

Introduction ..105 

Objects and Duties 105 

Organization 106 

Officers 106 

President 107 

Vice President 107 

Recording Secretary 107 

Assistant Recording Secretary 108 

Treasurer 108 

Boards and Committees 108 

Institutions 109 

Membership 109 

Conference 110 

Foreign Missions Ill 

Home Missions 112 



Section 5: RULES OF ORDER 114 

APPENDIX A I to XIX 

APPENDIX B XX to XXVI 

APPENDIX C XXVII to XXXVII 



1 



10 



PREFACE 



A Brief Confession or Declaration of Faith set forth by 
many of us, who are (falsely) called ANA-BAPTIST, 
to inform all Men (in these days of scandal and 
reproach) of our innocent Belief and Practise; for 
which we are not only resolved to suffer Persecution, 
to the loss of our Goods, but also Life itself, rather 
than to decline the same. 

Subscribed by certain Eldres, Deacons, and Breth- 
ren, met at "London," in the first Month (called 
"March," 1660) in the behalf of themselves, and 
many others unto whom they belong, in "London," 
and in several Counties of this Nation, who are of 
the same Faith with us. 

"After the Way which men called Heresie, so 
worship we the God of our Fathers; Believing all 
things which are written in the Law, and in the 
Prophets," Acts 24.14.— London— Printed by G.D. 
for "F. Smith," at the "Elephant and Castle," near 
Temple-Barr, 1660. 

NOTE: See Appendix A. 



11 



AN ABSTRACT 
of the 

FORMER ARTICLES OF FAITH 
Confessed by the Original 
BAPTIST CHURCH, 
Holding The 
Doctrine of General Provision, 
With a Proper 
CODE OF DISCIPLINE 
For the Future Government Of The 
Church 

Newbern 
Printed by Salmon Hall 
1813 

Authorized 1812 

NOTE: See Appendix B 

PREFACE 

Our last general conference met at a meeting 
house called A. Jones, on little Contentney, Green 
County, on the 5th of November 1812. The Confer- 
ence then took into consideration, the general in- 
terest of the Gospel, and especially the interest of 

12 



the Churches they were related unto, and did then 
represent, judging it expedient to examine and 
reprint the former confession of faith, put forth 
by the former Elders and Deacons: the Conference 
thought it proper likewise to annex a proper code 
of our discipline; and for the accomplishment of 
this design Elders James Roach and Jesse Heath 
were appointed; and they having recourse to all 
the former Articles of faith and rules of Discipline 
now extant. Some tilings stand without variation 
and some tilings with variation, and we there- 
fore desire the reader may be pleased to take the 
pains to peruse the scripture, that the grounds of 
our faith and practice may be better understood, 
that this impartial account of our principles and 
practice, may be accompanied with the blessing 
of God, and be beneficial to men, is the hearty 
prayer of us, your well wishers and servants in 
the Lord. 

James Roach 
Jesse He a tit 

NOTE: See Appendix B 



13 



AN ABSTRACT 
of the 

FORMER ARTICLES OF FAITH 

Confessed by the Original 
FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH 
holding the 
Doctrine of General Provision 
with a proper 
Code of Discipline 
for the 

Future Government of the Church 
Preface 1835 

The General Conference met at a meeting house 
called A. Jones on Little Contentnea, Greene 
County, on the 5th of November, 1812. The Con- 
ference then took into consideration the general 
interest of the Gospel, and especially, the interest 
of the Baptist Churches, which they did then rep- 
resent, judging it expedient to examine and reprint 
the former Confession of Faith, put forth by the 
former Elders and Deacons; the conference then 
thought it expedient likewise to annex a proper 
Code of Discipline, and for this purpose Elders 
James Roach and Jesse Heath were appointed a 

14 



committee, who accomplished the same. 

The General Conference met at Wheat Swamp 
Meeting House, [sic] Lenoir County, on the 7th of 
November 1835. The Conference then judged it 
necessary to revise and amend the Discipline of 
the Baptist Churches, and for the accomplishment 
of this design, it was agreed that a committee 
of five persons be appointed, and that Brethren 
Windsor Dixon, John A. Fonville, Robert Bond, 
Reuben Barrow and Daniel Cox, compose said 
committee, and report to the next General Con- 
ference. 

The General Conference held at Hookerton, 
Greene county, on the 5th of November, 1836, 
received the revised and amended Discipline, 
which was adopted; and that, with the Confession 
of Faith, ordered to be reprinted. 

That our principle of practice may be accompa- 
nied with the blessing of God, and be beneficial 
to men, is the sincere prayer of your well wishers 
and brethren in the Lord. 

Windsor Dixon, 
Reuben Barrow, 
Robert Bond. 

(taken from the reprint of 1855) 



15 



AN ABSTRACT 
of the 

FORMER ARTICLES OF FAITH 

Confessed by the Original 
FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH 
holding the 
Doctrine of General Provision 
with a proper 
Code of Discipline 
for the 

Future Government of the Church 
Preface 1894 

The Western Conference of the Original Free 
Will Baptist [sic] of North Carolina, convened 
with the church at St. Mary, [sic] Wilson County, 
[sic] October 8th, 1894. 

The Conference seeing it necessary to revise 
and correct the book of Discipline, appoint a com- 
mittee of five to examine the book and revise and 
correct the errors that had been made during the 
past several years by reprinting. The committee 
appointed were as follows: 

Elder Daniel Davis, Western Conference; Elder 
R. C. Jackson, Cape Fear Conference; Elders T. R 

16 



and T. H. Harrison, and J. M. Barfield, Eastern 
Conference. 

The Committee examined the book and made 
the necessary corrections, and made their report 
to the Conference. The report was received, and 
it was ordered to be presented to the Eastern 
Conference for adoption or rejection, it being the 
Original Conference. 

The Eastern Conference convened with the 
church at Blackjack, Pitt Co., N.C., November 8th, 
1894. The report of the committee was presented 
and it was unanimously adopted and ordered to 
be reprinted. 

May the work be beneficial to the church and 
the blessings of God rest upon it, is the prayer of 
your committee. 

Daniel Davis 
R. C. Jackson 
T. R Harrison Committee 
T. H. Harrison 
J. M. Barfield 



17 



AN ABSTRACT 
of the 

FORMER ARTICLES OF FAITH 

Confessed by the Original 
FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH 
holding the 
Doctrine of General Provision 
with a proper 
Code of Discipline 
for the 

Future Government of the Church 
Preface 1916 

The General Conference met at a meeting house 
called A. Jones, [sic] on Little Contentnea, Greene 
County, on November 5, 1812, and considered the 
interest of the Gospel and the Baptist churches 
there represented. They decided to examine and 
reprint the Confession of Faith put forth by the 
former Elders and Deacons and annex a proper 
Code of Discipline and for this purpose Elders 
James Roach and Jesse Heath were appointed a 
committee who accomplished the same. 

18 



The General Conference at Wheat Swamp, 
in Lenoir county, November 7, 1835 adjudged 
it necessary to revise and amend the discipline 
of the Baptist churches. Windsor Dixon, John A. 
Fonville, Robert Bond, Reuben Barrow and Daniel 
Cox were appointed a committee to do the work 
and ordered to report to the next General Confer- 
ence. The General Conference at Hookerton the 
following year received and adopted the revised 
and amended discipline and ordered it reprinted 
together with the Confession of Faith. 

The Western Conference of the Original Free 
Will Baptist of North Carolina in session at St. 
Mary's [sic] Wilson County, [sic] October 8, 1894, 
deemed it necessary to revise and correct the 
book of Discipline and to accomplish the task, 
appointed a committee of five as follows: Elder 
Daniel Davis, Western Conference; Elder R. C. 
Jackson, Cape Fear Conference; Elders T. F. and 
T. H. Harrison and J. M. Barfield, Eastern Con- 
ference. The committee did the work assigned 
and reported to the conference. The report was 
received and ordered reported to the Eastern 
Conference for adoption or rejection, it being the 
Original Conference. 

19 



The Eastern Conference in session at Blackjack, 
Pitt County, November 8, 1894, adopted the work 
of the committee and ordered it reprinted. 

In 1914 it became apparent that the book of 
Discipline needed to be revised and unified. This 
matter was discussed in the State Convention 
(at New Bern during that year), and at the State 
Convention of 1915 at Shady Grove in Sampson 
County, a committee of four was appointed to 
do the work. The committee was composed as 
follows: Elder R. F. Pittman, Western Confer- 
ence; W. J. Braxton, Central Conference; W. A. 
Jackson, Cape Fear Conference; and Elder S. H. 
Styron, Eastern Conference. The committee met 
in Goldsboro in the spring of 1916 and did the 
work as directed. Their work was reported to the 
different conferences in session in the fall of 1916 
and adopted by all of them. The work as revised 
and unified is hereby presented to the brother- 
hood for the proper discipline and government 
of our churches. 

May the work be beneficial to the church and 
may the blessing of God rest upon it, is the prayer 
of your committee. 

Eld. R. F. Pittman, Ch'm 
W. J. Braxton, 
W. A. Jackson, 
Eld. S. H. Styron 



20 



A TREATISE 
of 

FAITH AND GOVERNMENT 
for the 
ORIGINAL 
FREE WILL BAPTIST [sic] 
of 

NORTH CAROLINA 

Preface 
(Authorized in 1948) 

It was at the 1948 annual session of the North 
Carolina State Convention, held in Hull Road 
Church, Greene County, that a committee was ap- 
pointed to revise and amend the rules of Church 
Discipline. The committee was constituted of 
Revs. R. N. Hinnant, J. C. Griffin, J. W. Alford, D. 
W. Alexander, J. A. Evans and M. L. Johnson. 

The committee held several meetings and 
worked diligently to arrange a Discipline that 
would be acceptable to the majority of our Con- 
ferences and Associations in the State, and at the 
same time, conform to the National Treatise. 

We are praying that, as this Discipline goes 
before the people, it will prove a blessing to all 

21 



the churches and be a potent factor in uniting our 
denominational practices in North Carolina. 

R. N. Hinnant, Chairman 



22 



STATEMENT 
of 

FAITH and DISCIPLINE 
for 
Original 
Free Will Baptists 
of 

North Carolina 
Preface 1955 
(Authorized in 1954) 



Throughout the ages it has been an accepted 
fact that, to govern people working under one 
great banner, there must be an established set of 
rules. Therefore, a committee appointed at the 
1954 session of the North Carolina State Conven- 
tion of Free Will Baptists to revise the state govern- 
ing document, A Treatise of Faith and Government 
for the Original Free Will Baptists of North Carolina 
realized the importance of these rules, as did our 
state body. 

The committee was constituted of two members 
from each conference and association holding 
membership in the state convention. 

23 



Much prayer and thought motivated every 
decision of the committee and, as this Statement 
of Faith and Discipline goes forth under the banner 
of North Carolina Free Will Baptists, we trust it 
will so unify our constituency that love and unity 
may prevail. 

Rev. D. W. Alexander, Chairman 
Rev. R. N. Hinnant, Secretary 



24 



COMMITTEE 

WESTERN CONFERENCE: R. N. Hinnant, 
M. L. Johnson 

EASTERN CONFERENCE: J. W Alford, 
D. W. Hansley 

CENTRAL CONFERENCE: D. W. Alexander, 
C. J. Harris 

CAPE FEAR CONFERENCE: L. R. Ennis, 
J. R. Davidson 

ALBEMARLE CONFERENCE: C. H. Overman 

PIEDMONT ASSOCIATION: L. H. Clayton, 
Roy Rikard 

FRENCH BROAD ASSOCIATION: W. L. 
Moretz 

ROCK FISH CONFERENCE: Winford R. Floyd, 
R. R. Shepherd 



25 



PREFACE 

The State Convention of Original Free Will 
Baptists of North Carolina convened in Mount 
Olive, North Carolina, with Mount Olive College 
serving as host, September 15, 16, 1976. 

The Convention in session recommended that 
a committee be formed to study for revision and 
clarification the Statement of Faith and Discipline 
of Original Free Will Baptists of North Carolina. The 
Executive Committee of the State Convention 
of Original Free Will Baptists of North Carolina 
invited each Conference to send representatives 
to study the formation of a revision committee. 
This study committee agreed that each Confer- 
ence appoint two representatives to the revision 
committee: 

Those appointed were: 
Eastern Conference: David W. Hansley, Bruce 

Dudley, Bill Futch (Alternate), J. B. Starnes 

(Alternate) 

Central Conference: Gary M. Bailey, N. Bruce 
Barrow 

Western Conference: De Wayne Eakes, Ray 
Wells 

Pee Dee Association: William J. Godwin, Jack 
Penny, James B. Hardee 

26 



Cape Fear Conference: Curtis Jones, C Felton 
Godwin 

Albemarle Conference: Robert May, Francis Gar- 
ner, Marvin Waters (Alternate) 

Piedmont Conference: James L. Kivett, Fred John- 
son, M. E. Cox 

The Revision Committee held its first meeting 
on March 1, 1977, at Mount Olive College in the 
Free Will Baptist Historical Room of the Moye 
Library. This meeting was devoted to a survey of 
the history of Original Free Will Baptists begin- 
ning in 1609 in England through 1976. Special 
emphasis was given to the many and various con- 
fessions of faith that have been used during the 
denomination's history. The Revision Committee 
adopted two of these confessions as the basis for 
the present revision, namely the Confessions of 
1660 and 1812. 

Using these two Confessions as the proper 
foundation, the Revision Committee worked to 
simplify and clarify the historical confessions 
of the Original Free Will Baptist Denomination. 
The work was presented to the State Convention 
Study Committee February 15, 1979; the work 
was then presented to the State Convention of 
Original Free Will Baptists of North Carolina on 
September 16, 1981. The State Convention then 



27 



presented the work to the various Conferences 
and two-thirds of the Conferences adopted the 
work and reported their action to the State Con- 
vention at which time the revision was authorized 
and ordered printed. 

"May the work be beneficial to the church 
and the blessing of God rest upon it..," (1894 
Preface). 

David W. Hansley, Chairman 
Bill Futch, Secretary 



28 



FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH 
COVENANT 

Having given ourselves to God, by faith in 
Christ, and adopted the word of God as our rule 
of faith and practice, we now give ourselves to 
one another by the will of God in this solemn 
covenant. 

We promise by His grace to love and obey Him 
in all things, to avoid all appearance of evil, to 
abstain from all sinful amusements and unholy 
conformity to the world, from all sanction of the 
use and sale of intoxicating beverages, the abuse 
of drugs, and to "provide things honest in the 
sight of all men." 

We agree faithfully to discharge our obligations 
in reference to the study of the Scriptures, secret 
prayer, family devotions, and public worship and 
by self-denial, faith, and good works endeavor to 
"grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ." 

We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves 
together for church conferences, public worship, 
and the observance of the ordinances of the Gos- 
pel; nor fail to give according to our ability for 
the support of the church and all its benevolent 
work. 



29 



We agree to accept Christian admonition and 
reproof with meekness, and to watch over one 
another in love, endeavoring to "keep the unity 
of the Spirit in the bond of peace/' to be careful 
of one another's happiness and reputation, and 
seek to strengthen the weak, encourage the af- 
flicted, admonish the erring, and as far as we are 
able promote the success of the church and of 
the Gospel. 

We will everywhere hold Christian principles 
and obligations supreme, esteem it our chief 
business to make Christ known to the world, and 
constantly pray and toil that the Kingdom of God 
may come, and His will be done on earth as it is 
in Heaven. 

To this end we agree to co-operate in the promo- 
tion of denominational ministries, the support of 
the work of the local church, and the evangeliza- 
tion of the world. 

May the God of peace sanctify us wholly, and 
preserve us blameless unto the coming of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. 



30 



ARTICLES OF FAITH 



Article 1. Doctrine of God 

We believe that there is but one living, true, and 
eternal God, the Father; of whom are all things, 
from everlasting to everlasting, glorious and un- 
changeable in all His attributes. 1 

We believe that God is the only proper object 
of worship. 2 The mode of His existence, how- 
ever, is a subject far beyond the understanding 
of mankind. 3 There is no tiling in all creation that 
can adequately represent Him. 4 He is the source 
of all existence, 5 and the Scriptures teach that He 
is Spirit, 6 present everywhere, 7 all knowing, 8 all 
powerful, 9 independent, 10 good, 11 wise, 12 holy, 13 
just, 14 merciful, 15 redeemer, 16 Saviour, 17 sanctifier, 18 
the judge of mankind 19 and all other attributes 
ascribed to Him in the Scripture. 



1. Exodus 3:14; Isaiah 40:28, 46:9; Jeremiah 10:6-10; Mark 
12:29-32; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Galatians 3:20; Deuteronomy 6:4, 
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD." 

2. Exodus 34:14; Deuteronomy 6:13; Joshua 24:14, 15; Matthew 
4:10; Luke 10:27; Revelation 19:10; Exodus 20:3-5a, "Thou shalt 
have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee 
any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven 
above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under 



31 



the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve 
them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God. . .." 

3. Job 11:7, 26:14, 38-41; Romans 11:33-35; Isaiah 55:8-9, "For 
my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my 
ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the 
earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts 
than your thoughts/' 

4. Exodus 20:1-5, 23; Psalm 89:5-37; Acts 17:29, "Forasmuch 
then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that 
the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art 
and man's device." 

5. Exodus 20:11; Psalm 33:6-9; John 1:1-4; Genesis 1:1, "In the 
beginning God created the heaven and the earth." 

6. 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 4:24, "God is a Spirit: and they that 
worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." 

7. 1 Kings 8:27; Isaiah 57:15; Acts 17:24; Psalm 139:7-10, 
"Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from 
thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I 
make my bed in hell [Sheol], behold, thou art there. If I take 
the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of 
the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand 
shall hold me." 

8. 1 Chronicles 28:9, Psalm 94:9-11; Acts 15:18; Acts 1:24, "And 
they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of 
all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen." 

9. Job 42:2; Psalm 135:6; Matthew 19:26; Luke 18:27; Revela- 
tion 19:6; Mark 14:36, "And he said, Abba, Father, all things are 
possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless 
not what I will, but what thou wilt." 

32 



10. Job 9:12; Daniel 4:35; Romans 11:33-36; Ephesians 4:6, 
"One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, 
and in you all." 

11. Psalm 106:1, 119:68, 145:9; Matthew 19:17; Psalm 25:8, 
"Good and upright is the LORD; therefore will He teach sin- 
ners in the way," 

12. Daniel 2:20; Romans 16:27; 1 Timothy 1:17; Jude 25, "To 
the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion 
and power, both now and ever. Amen." 

13. Leviticus 19:2; Job 6:10; Isaiah 6:3, "And one cried unto 
another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the 
whole earth is full of his glory." 

14. Psalm 92:15, 119:137; Zephaniah 3:5; Deuteronomy 32:4, 
"He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: 
a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." 

15. Exodus 34:6; Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 100:5; Ephesians 2:4, 
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith 
he loved us." 

16. Galatians 4:5; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18; Revelation 5:9, 14:3, 
4; Job 19:25; Psalm 19:14; Isaiah 41:14, 43:14, 44:6; Jeremiah 50:34; 
Luke 1:68, 24:2-11; Galatians 3:13, "Christ hath redeemed us from 
the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, 
Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." 

17. Acts 13:23; Ephesians 5:23; 2 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:3; 1 John 
4:14; 2 Samuel 22:3; 2 Kings 13:5; Psalm 106:21; Isaiah 19:20, 43:3, 
45:15; Hosea 13:4; Luke 1:47, 2:11; John 4:42, "And said unto the 
woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have 
heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, 
the Saviour of the world." 



33 



18. Exodus 31:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23, "And the very God 
of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit 
and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of 
our Lord Jesus Christ"; Jude 1. 

19. Genesis 18:25; Psalm 50:6; 2 Timothy 4:8; Hebrews 12:23, 
"To the general assembly and the church of the firstborn, which 
are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the 
spirits of just men made perfect" 



34 



Article 2. Doctrine of Christ 

We believe that there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, 
by whom are all things, the only begotten Son 
of God, born of the Virgin Mary, who was truly 
God and truly man, whom God freely sent into 
this world, because of the great love wherewith 
He loved the world; and Christ as freely gave 
himself a ransom for all, tasting death for every 
man; who was buried and rose again the third 
day, and ascended into Heaven from whence we 
look for him the second time, in the clouds of 
Heaven, at the last day to judge both the living 
and the dead. 1 

We believe that the Scriptures ascribe to Christ 
all the attributes of God. 2 



1. Acts 24:15; Philippians 2:6, 7; 1 Timothy 2:6, 7; 1 John 2:2; 
Revelation 1:7; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1-14, 3:16, 
'Tor God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but 
have everlasting life." 

2. 1 John 5:20, "And we know that the Son of God is come, 
and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him 
that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his son Jesus 
Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." (See footnotes of 
Article 1.) 



35 



Article 3. Doctrine of the Holy Spirit 

We believe that there is one Holy Spirit, the pre- 
cious gift of the Father through his dear Son, who 
is the divine presence in our lives, who regener- 
ates and sanctifies us, and whereby we are kept 
in perpetual remembrance of the truth of Christ, 
and in whom we find our strength and help. 1 

We believe that the Scriptures ascribe to the 
Holy Spirit all the attributes of God. 2 



1. John 16:7-14; Acts 2:1-3; Ephesians 2:1, 4-6; John 14:16, 
17, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another 
Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit 
of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him 
not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him for he dwelleth with 
you and shall be in you." 

2. (See footnotes of Article 1.) 



36 



Article 4. Doctrine of the Trinity 

We believe that God the Father, God the Son, 
and God the Holy Spirit are one God, without 
beginning or end, who is indivisible in His nature 
or being. 1 



1. Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2; 
1 John 5:7, 'Tor there are three that bear record in heaven, the 
Father, the Word [Christ], and the Holy Ghost [Spirit]: and these 
three are one." 



37 



Article 5. Doctrine of Creation and Divine 
Government 

We believe that in the beginning God created 
the heavens and the earth, and all things therein, 
visible and invisible; and that God is continually 
working through His creation to sustain it and to 
nurture His creatures. 1 

We believe that all things are foreseen in the 
wisdom of God, so that God knows whatsoever 
can or cannot come to pass upon all supposed 
conditions. All events are present with God from 
everlasting to everlasting; but His knowledge 
of them does not in any sense cause them, nor 
does He decree all events which He knows will 
occur. 2 



1. Genesis 1:1—2: 25; Psalm 104:13; Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 
1:16; Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and 
the earth." 2:7, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of 
the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and 
man became a living soul" 

2. Isaiah 42:9; Matthew 6:8, "Be not ye therefore like unto 
them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, 
before ye ask him/' 



38 



Article 6. Doctrine of Man 

We believe that in the beginning God created 
man in His own image and placed him in a state 
of glory without the least mixture of misery, from 
which he voluntarily by transgression fell, and 
by that means, brought on himself a miserable 
and mortal state subject to death. Unbelief is the 
reason why men are condemned in the sight of 
the just and righteous God. 1 

We believe that the human will is always active 
and may rebel or respond to the call of Christ in 
His redemptive offer, that through the grace of 
God mankind may be saved. 2 



1. Genesis 2:7, 3:1-7; John 3:17,18; Romans 5:12; Genesis 
1:26-27, "And God said, let us make man in our image, after our 
likeness:.. .So God created man in His own image, in the image 
of God created he him; male and female created he them/' 

2. John 3:17, 18; Ephesians 2:8; Revelation 3:20; Deuteronomy 
30:19; Jeremiah 17:9, 10; John 1:12,13, "But as many as received 
him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to 
them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, 
nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." 



39 



Article 7. Doctrine of the Church 

We believe that the Church is the body of Christ, 
all Christians everywhere. 

We believe that the local church is an organized 
body of believers in Christ who statedly assemble 
to worship God and who sustain the ordinances 
of the Gospel. The local church does not exist in 
isolation; rather, those churches who believe and 
practice the Original Free Will Baptist faith and or- 
der join together to form a denominational church. 
Neither the local church nor the denominational 
church exists independent of the other. 1 



1. Acts 15:lff; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23; 
Colossians 1:18, 24; 1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 2:19, "Now there- 
fore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens 
with the saints and of the household of God." 



40 



Article 8. Doctrine of the Holy Scriptures 

We believe these are the Old and the New Tes- 
taments, that they were written by holy men, in- 
spired by the Holy Spirit, and are God's revealed 
word to man. We believe that they are a sufficient 
and infallibly true rule and guide to salvation and 
all Christian worship and service. 1 



1. John 5:39; Romans 15:4; Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:18-21; 
2 Timothy 3:16. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, 
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for 
instruction in righteousness." 



41 



Article 9. Doctrine of Salvation 

We believe that salvation is the restoration of 
man to his right relationship with God. 

General Provision: We believe in the doctrine 
of General provision made of God in Christ, for 
the benefit of all mankind who repents and be- 
lieves the Gospel. 1 

We believe that God is not willing that any 
should perish, but that all should come to re- 
pentance and the knowledge of the truth, that 
they might be saved; 2 for which end Christ hath 
commanded the Gospel to be preached among all 
nations and to every creature. 3 

We believe that sinners are drawn to God the 
Father by the Holy Spirit through Christ His Son, 
and that the Holy Spirit offers His divine aid to all 
the human family so that they all might be saved, 
if they accept His divine teaching; 4 and if any fail 
of eternal life, the fault is completely his own. 5 

Faith: We believe that faith is the response of 
an individual in total trust and commitment to 
God's provision in Christ. 6 The power to believe 
is the gift of God, but believing is an act of the 
individual which is required as a condition of 
salvation. 7 "Faith if it hath not works is dead, 



being alone/' 8 

Repentance: We believe that the repentance 
which the Gospel requires includes a deep convic- 
tion, a penitential sorrow, an open confession, a 
decided hatred and an entire forsaking of all sin. 9 
This repentance God has enjoined on all men; 
and without it in this life the sinner will perish 
eternally. 10 

Regeneration: We believe that regeneration is 
an instantaneous renewal of the heart by the Holy 
Spirit, whereby the penitent sinner receives new 
life and becomes a child of God. 11 (This is called in 
Scripture being "born again/' "born of the Spirit/ 7 
being "quickened," passing "from death unto 
life," and "partaking of the divine nature.") 

Justification: We believe that justification means 
that persons who accept by faith the atonement of 
Christ are pardoned and absolved from the guilt 
of sin and restored to divine favor where once 
they stood guilty before God. 12 

Sanctification: We believe that sanctification is 
the setting apart of the believer for continuing 



43 



growth in the grace and knowledge of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, for service to God and man. 13 



General Provision. 1. John 3:16, "For God so loved the world 
that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on 
him should not perish but have everlasting life"; Acts 10:34. 

2. 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as 
some men count slackness;. . .not willing that any should perish 
but that all should come to repentance." 

3. Matthew 28:19-20, "Go ye therefore...lo, I am with you 
alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." 

4. John 1:9; 16:8; Acts 10:34; 1 Timothy 2:4; John 14:6, "Jesus 
saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man 
cometh unto the Father, but by me." 

5. John 5:40; 2 Timothy 2:12; Mark 16:16, "He that believeth 
and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall 
be damned." 

Faith. 6. John 3:18; Romans 10:9; Hebrews 11:6, "But without 
faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God 
must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that 
diligently seek him." 

7. Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and 
that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." 



44 



8. James 2:17, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, 
being alone/' 

Repentance. 9. Psalm 32:3-5; Ezekiel 18:30; 2 Corinthians 7:10, 
'Tor godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be 
repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death/' 

10. Acts 3:19; Luke 13:5, "I tell you, Nay, but, except ye repent, 
ye shall all likewise perish/' 

Regeneration. 11. Ezekiel 36:26; John 1:12-13; 3:3; 5:24; 2 
Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5-6; Ephesians 2:1. "And you hath he 
quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins/' 

Justification. 12. Isaiah 53:11; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:16; Romans 
5:1, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God 
through our Lord Jesus Christ." 

Sanctification. 13. 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Peter 3:18; Galatians 
2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, 
but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh 
I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave 
himself for me." 



45 



Article 10. Doctrine of the Perseverance of 
the Saints 

We believe that those who abide in Christ 
have the assurance of salvation. The Christian, 
however, retains his freedom of choice. Therefore, 
he should watch and pray since it is possible for 
him to turn away from God and be eternally lost, 
which is called making shipwreck of faith. 1 



1. 2 Chronicles 15:2; Ezekiel 33:18; John 15:6; 1 Corinthians 
10:12; 1 Timothy 1:19; Hebrews 6:4-6; 2 Peter 1:10; 2 Peter 2:20; 
Mark 13:13, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's 
sake; but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be 
saved/ 7 



46 



Article 11. Doctrine of Individual 
Accountability 

We believe that all persons are accountable 
to God, except those incapable of responding to 
God's call. 1 



1. Matthew 18:2-5; 19:14; Luke 12:48; Romans 14:12, "So then 
every one of us shall give account of himself to God/' 



47 



Article 12. Doctrine of Christian Service 

We believe that it is the Christian's duty to be 
tender and affectionate one to another, to study 
the happiness of the people of God in general, to 
do justly by all people, and to be singly engaged 
to promote the honor and glory of God. 1 



1. Zechariah 7:9; Matthew 25:34-40; Acts 20:35; Galatians 6:1,2, 
10; Colossians 3:13-14; 1 John 3:17-18; Ephesians 4:32, "And be 
ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, 
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you/' 



48 



Article 13. Doctrine of the Lord's Day 

We believe in the sanctity of the first day of 
the week, or Lord's day, and that it ought to be 
observed in the corporate and private worship of 
God, and that on it we should abstain from our 
worldly concerns except in cases of necessity or 
mercy. 1 



1. Exodus 20:10-11; Leviticus 23:3; Matthew 28:1-7; Mark 
16:1-6; 1 Corinthians 16:1,2; Revelation 1:10; Acts 20:7, "And 
upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together 
to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the 
morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." 



49 



Article 14. Doctrine of Worship 

We believe that worship is the adoration of God 
and is duly required of all His children through 
praise, prayer, and the reading and preaching 
of His Word. Every Christian may worship God 
privately; however, this should never replace the 
corporate worship of the church. 

We believe that in addition to the ordinances of 
the Gospel, there are other rites of worship which 
are valid for use by the local church. Some of these 
rites are: laying on of hands, anointing the sick 
with oil, fasting, singing praise to God, corporate 
affirmation of faith, and corporate prayer. 1 



1. Psalm 100; 103:1-4; Matthew 6:16-18; Mark 6:13; John 
4:23,24; Acts 2:46,47; Ephesians 5:19; Philippians 3:3; 1 Timothy 
4:14; James 5:14; 1 Peter 2:9; Psalm 95:6, "O come, let us worship 
and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker/' 



50 



Article 15. Doctrine of Christian Stewardship 

We believe that good works are the fruits of sav- 
ing faith and include being good stewards of all 
God's blessings. Christians are to be responsible 
in the use of their time and talents. Furthermore, 
Christians are required to be faithful in the use of 
their finances for the expense of the program of 
Christ in the world. 

The Old and New Testaments teach tithing 
as God's financial plan for the support of His 
work. 1 



1. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 17; Malachi 3:8; Matthew 25:12-30; 1 
Corinthians 4:1,2; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8; Ephe- 
sians 5:16; 1 Peter 4:10,11; Malachi 3:10, "Bring ye all the tithes 
into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and 
prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not 
open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, 
that there shall not be room enough to receive it." 



51 



Article 16. Doctrine of the Ordinances of 
the Gospel 

1. Christian Baptism: We believe that this is the 
immersion of believers in water, in the name of the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 1 in which are 
represented the burial and resurrection of Christ, 
the death of Christians to the world, the washing 
of their souls from the pollution of sin, their rising 
to newness of life, their commitment to serve God, 
and their resurrection at the last day. 2 

2. The Lord's Supper: We believe that this is 
a commemoration of the death of Christ for our 
sins, in the use of bread which He made the em- 
blem of His broken body, and the cup, the emblem 
of His shed blood; and by it the believer expresses 
his love for Christ, his faith and hope in Him, and 
pledges to Him perpetual fidelity. 3 

3. Washing the Saints' Feet: We believe that this 
is a sacred ordinance, which teaches humility, the 
necessity of the servanthood of every believer, and 
reminds the believer of the necessity of a daily 
cleansing from all sin. It was instituted by the 
Lord Jesus Christ as an "example" on the night 



52 



of His Last Supper and betrayal. 

It is the duty and happy prerogative of every 
believer to observe these sacred ordinances. 4 We 
believe that no man has a right to forbid these 
tokens to the least of His disciples. 



1. Mark 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38; 10:48; 22:16; Matthew 28:19, 
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." 

2. Acts 2:41; 8:12, 38; 9:18; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:5; 1 Corinthians 
12:13; 15:29; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 3:21; 
Romans 6:3,4, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized 
into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are 
buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was 
raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we 
also should walk in newness of life." 

3. Matthew 26:20-29; Mark 14:18-25; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor- 
inthians 10:16, 21; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, "For I have received 
of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord 
Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And 
when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this 
is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of 
me. After the same manner also, he took the cup, when he had 
supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this 
do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often 
as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's 
death till he come." 



53 



4. John 13:4-17; 1 Timothy 5:10; John 13:12-15, "So after he 
had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was 
set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done 
to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I 
am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye 
also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an 
example, that ye should do as I have done to you/ 7 



54 



Article 17. The Doctrine of Death 

We believe that Adam, while in the Garden of 
Eden in a state of innocence and in the image of 
God, 1 was commanded by God not to eat of the 
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and if he 
did he would surely die. As a result, Adam was 
liable or subject to death, 2 but not under the result 
or penalty of it. However, when he disobeyed 
and rebelled against the command of God, he 
passed under the result and penalty of death; and 
as Adam represented all the human race, death 
passed upon all men. 3 

We believe that there is much mystery as- 
sociated with the act or fact of dying; therefore, 
no living person can completely understand it. 
However, the Bible assures that Jesus Christ, the 
Son of God, changed death from the destroying 
scourge to the doorway to heaven to all who ex- 
ercise saving faith in Him. 4 



1. Genesis 1:26,27, "And God said, Let us make man in our 
image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over 
the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the 
cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing 
that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own 
image, in the image of God created he him; male and female 
created he them." 



55 



2. Genesis 2:16,17; Proverbs 8:36; Romans 6:23; 8:6; James 1:15; 
5:20; Revelation 21:8; Ezekiel 18:20, "The soul that sinneth, it shall 
die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall 
the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the 
righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked 
shall be upon him." 

3. Psalm 49:10; 89:48; Ecclesiastes 8:8; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 
Romans 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the 
world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for 
that all have sinned." 

4. Psalm 116:15; Proverbs 14:32; Luke 16:22; 23:43; Romans 
14:8; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Philippians 1:21; Hebrews 11:13; Revela- 
tion 6:9; 14:13; 2 Corinthians 5:6-9, "Therefore we are always 
confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we 
are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the 
body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, 
whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him." 



56 



Article 18. The Doctrine of Immortality 

We believe that the soul does not die with the 
body, but immediately after death enters into a 
conscious state of happiness or misery, accord- 
ing to the individual's relationship to the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 1 



L Matthew 10:28; John 8:51; 11:26; Romans 2:7; 1 Corinthians 
15:53,54; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Philippians 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 
4:17; 2 Timothy 1:10; Revelation 20:4; Ecclesiastes 12:7, "Then 
shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall 
return unto God who gave it." 



57 



Article 19. The Doctrine of the Resurrection 

We believe in the resurrection of the bodies of 
all people, each in its own order; the Christian 
to eternal life and the non-Christian to eternal 
damnation. 1 



1. Daniel 12:2; Matthew 16:19; 28:1-6; Mark 9:9; 16:1-6; Luke 
24:1-8; John 11:1-44; 20:1-10; Acts 24:15; 26:22,23; 1 Corinthians 
15:1-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13,14; John 5:28,29, "Marvel not at this: 
for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves 
shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done 
good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, 
unto the resurrection of damnation/' 



58 



Article 20. Doctrine of Last Things 

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended 
into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the 
Father. He will come again to glorify His saints, to 
judge the world, and to consummate His Eternal 
Kingdom. 1 



1. Matthew 24:26,27, 44; 25:31,32; 26:64; xMark 14:62; Luke 
12:37-40; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 4:5; 1 Thessa- 
lonians 4:16-5:6, 23; 1 Timothy 4:1; 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 
9:28; 10:37; James 5:8; Jude 14-15; Revelation 1:7; 3:11; 16:15; 
22:20; Titus 2:13, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glori- 
ous appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ/' 



59 



Article 21. Doctrine of Angels 

We believe that angels are created spiritual be- 
ings (and are not spirits of the dead, nor are they 
glorified human beings). Angels are ministering 
spirits and messengers of God. Angels convey 
the instructions of God to men, announce special 
events; protect the faithful, both individually 
and collectively, and execute punishment on the 
adversaries of the work of God. 1 



1. Nehemiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 104:4; Hebrews 12:22, 
24; Genesis 22:11,12; 31:11; Exodus 3:2; Genesis 16:11; Judges 
13:3-5; Luke 1:5-24; 1:26-35; Matthew 1:20,21; Colossians 1:16, 
'Tor by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that 
are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or 
dominions or principalities, or powers: all things were created 
by him, and for him." 



60 



Article 22. Doctrine of Satan 

We believe that Satan is a created spirit being. 1 
Names applied to Satan in the Bible are: Lucifer, 
Belial, Beelzebub, the Devil, the Evil one, the 
Accuser, the enemy, the tempter, the Prince of 
Demons, the prince of the power of the air and 
the Ruler of this world. 2 

In the New Testament Satan appears as a dis- 
tinctive personality. He incites people to shut their 
ears to God's message. 3 He maliciously hinders 
Christian endeavor 4 and is essentially a power 
of darkness, the enemy of the Light and of God, 5 
though he sometimes disguises himself as an 
angel of light. 6 

Though Satan is all of the above, man is a free 
moral agent 7 and is responsible for his own sins 
and is responsible for his acceptance or rejection 
of Christ, 8 who gives victory over all evil. 



L Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Luke 10:18, "And he said 
unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven/' 

2. Isaiah 14:12; 2 Corintihans 6:15; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15, 
18-19; 1 Peter 5:8; Matthew 13:19; 1 John 5:18; Revelation 12:10; 
Matthew 13:39; Luke 10:19; Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; 
Matthew 9:34; 12:24; Mark 3:22; John 12:31; John 16:11; Ephesians 
2:2, "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of 



61 



this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the 
spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." 

3. Revelation 2:9; 3:9; Mark 4:15, "And these are they by the 
way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, 
Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was 
sown in their hearts." 

4. 1 Thessalonians 2:18; 1 Corinthians 7:5, "Defraud ye not one 
the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give 
yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that 
Satan tempt you not for your incontinency." 

5. Ephesians 6:12, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, 
but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers 
of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in 
high places." 

6. 2 Corinthians 11:14, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is 
transformed into an angel of light." 

7. Revelation 22:17, "...And whosoever will, let him take the 
water of life freely." 

8. Proverbs 8:4; Mark 16:15-16, "And he said unto them, Go 
ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that 
believeth not shall be damned." 



62 



RULES OF CHURCH 
GOVERNMENT 
Introduction 

The rules for the government of the church 
are contained in the Holy Scriptures; however, 
some of them are understood and applied in gen- 
eral directions. It is therefore necessary that the 
Original Free Will Baptist Denomination adopt 
certain fixed rules of polity as understood from 
the Holy Scriptures, from tradition, from custom, 
from practice, and from necessity, that it may 
more perfectly perform its duties as a Christian 
organization. 

The church government for the Original Free 
Will Baptist Denomination did not develop eas- 
ily, but materialized as a result of hardship, need, 
desire, and experience. Therefore, it is necessary 
that the Denomination at the present time, and for 
the future, adopt the best rules of church govern- 
ment that it can possibly formulate for the protec- 
tion, direction, management, function, harmony, 
understanding, and cooperation of the Original 
Free Will Baptist Denomination as a whole. 

Traditionally, church government is divided 
into three types: episcopal, presbyterial, and 

63 



congregational — each having its own distinctive 
polity. The Original Free Will Baptist Denomi- 
nation has never adopted in totality any of the 
three. Nevertheless it has adopted rules of polity 
and practiced certain customs that are related in 
some respects to the three above mentioned types. 
This does not mean, however, that the Original 
Free Will Baptist Denomination copied or used 
any of the three as a pattern, but adopted rules of 
polity and practiced certain customs as the need 
arose. Its church government is thus a distinctive 
one and is best described as representative by 
delegation. 

SECTION 1: THE LOCAL CONGREGATION 

A local congregation of the Original Free Will 
Baptist Denomination is one that adheres to and 
participates in The Articles of Faith and Principles 
of Church Government for Original Tree Will Baptists 
(of the English General Baptist Heritage). Therefore, 
each local congregation adheres to the same basic 
governmental principles and procedures in order 
to promote the success of the Gospel and of the 
denomination and to "keep the Unity of the Spirit 
in the bonds of peace." 



64 



The Organization of a Local Congregation 

The basic governmental principles, structures, 
and procedures of an established local congrega- 
tion are as follows: 

Officers: The officers of the local congregation 
shall consist of at least the following: Board of 
Trustees, Clerk, Treasurer, Board of Finance, Board 
of Deacons. All officers are elected by and serve 
at the will of the local congregation. In addition, 
all offices must be filled with active members of 
the local congregation who are qualified for the 
duty. 

Board of Trustees: The board of trustees shall 
hold title to all property, maintain all legal rights 
to said property, convey said property at the dis- 
cretion of a four-fifths majority of the members 
present at a regular quarterly conference (said 
anticipated sale or conveyance having been pre- 
viously announced at the last regular quarterly 
conference of said church, and public notice of an- 
ticipated sale or conveyance having been made in 
the local paper, or posted as the law requires.) 

Clerk: The clerk shall keep and maintain proper 
church records, including a membership roll 
and a record of church business meetings. The 
clerk shall sign all legal letters authorized by the 

65 



church. All such records are the property of the 
local congregation, and the clerk shall relinquish 
all church records to his successor. 

Treasurer: The treasurer shall be entrusted with 
the funds of the church and keep an account of 
all money received. He shall pay all bills as au- 
thorized by the church and make a report of all 
receipts and disbursements annually, or as often 
as the church may require. All the records of the 
treasurer are the property of the local congrega- 
tion. They are open to inspection by the members 
upon reasonable request, except in the case of the 
records of individual contributions which are to 
be kept in confidence by the treasurer. All records, 
at the direction of the church, are to be submitted 
for a financial audit. The treasurer shall relinquish 
his records and all funds to his successor. 

Board of Finance: The board of finance shall 
have the responsibility of promoting Christian 
stewardship, planning the budget of the church, 
and aiding the treasurer in the maintenance of 
competent records. The members of this board 
shall assist with the audit of financial records 
when necessary. 



66 



Board of Deacons: The office of deacon is scrip- 
turally described. For their qualifications see 1 
Timothy 3:8-13, and for their ordination see Acts 
6. The duties of the deacons are as follows: 

(1) to serve at the Lord's table 

(2) to distribute of the bounty of the church 
among its needy members 

(3) to visit the sick 

(4) to assist the pastor in attending to and carry- 
ing out the worship and outreach program 
of the church in a Godly manner 

(5) to cooperate with the pastor in seeing that 
efficient Scriptural discipline and programs 
are maintained 

(6) to see that the worship and service pro- 
grams are carried out in the absence of the 
pastor. 

Should a deacon transfer his church member- 
ship, his office shall thereby terminate. 

Pastor: The pastor shall have general superin- 
tendence of the church as the chief administrative 
officer. It is the pastor's duty to faithfully preach 
the Word, to be an example to the flock, to visit the 
members — especially the sick — as he has oppor- 

67 



tunity; to do all within his power to promote the 
spiritual interest of the church which he serves, 
to promote all denominational institutions, enter- 
prises, and programs, and to advance the cause 
of Christ among men. 

The church shall call its own pastor, from 
among the duly ordained Original Free Will Bap- 
tist ministers who are approved by the Conference 
of which the church is a member, upon such terms 
as may be mutually agreeable. A pastorate shall 
not be terminated by the church or pastor without 
a ninety-day previous notice, or unless agreed to 
by both parties. 

Church Membership: As to the reception of 
members, any person who gives evidence of a 
change of heart, professes faith in the Lord Jesus 
Christ, has been baptized (immersed) by a duly 
ordained minister, and to whom the church cov- 
enant has been read and explained, and by whom 
accepted, shall be received into the church. 

From other churches baptized (immersed) 
persons are received by letter or profession of 
faith. Individuals transferring from other denomi- 



68 



nations are expected to adhere to the doctrine 
and practices of the Original Free Will Baptist 
Denomination. In addition, the church covenant 
is to be read and explained, and accepted by the 
candidate for membership. Persons excluded 
from other churches are not received unless it 
be made evident that they were excluded upon 
unjustifiable grounds. Excluded members are re- 
ceived when they give evidence of repentance. 

No one against whom any valid objection 
is made is received into the church. When any 
member objects to the reception of an applicant, 
the matter is deferred until the church can ascer- 
tain the nature of the objection. If, in the opinion 
of the church, the objection is not a valid one, the 
applicant may be received. The hand of fellow- 
ship is extended to all who are received into the 
membership according to the regular methods 
of the church. 

When a member in good standing desires to 
unite with another church, the clerk may be au- 
thorized to send a letter of transfer of member- 
ship to the church with which he is to unite. Such 
members receive letters of honorable dismissal 



69 



and commendation. A withdrawal without such 
letter of commendation is equivalent to excom- 
munication. 

Christian Discipline: Discipline includes both 
the principle by which we live and the procedures 
by which we are governed. Christian discipline 
demands that the principle and the procedures 
embody the truth of Jesus Christ as taught in 
Scripture. It is hoped that all members of an Origi- 
nal Free Will Baptist Church will observe and 
conduct themselves according to the Scripture 
and the Church Covenant; however, due to hu- 
man nature we all are subject to error. It therefore 
becomes necessary that certain disciplinary pro- 
cedures be invoked. All church discipline should 
be administered in the spirit of love and with the 
ultimate aim of reclamation of the erring one or 
ones. The Scriptural foundation for these proce- 
dures is Matthew 18:15-17 and Galatians 6:1. 

It is hoped that individual problems may be 
settled by the individuals; however, if these must 
be brought to the church, they must follow the 
procedures outlined in this section. 

When an allegation is to be brought to the 

church, the charges must be made in writing, 

70 



signed by two or more members in good stand- 
ing and handled according to the procedures 
outlined below: 

Either individual problems or charges must be 
presented first to the pastor and board of deacons. 
If after reasonable investigation a satisfactory 
solution can be reached, no further action will be 
taken. If a satisfactory solution cannot be reached, 
then the case should be presented to the church 
at a regular quarterly conference or, if necessary, 
at a special called conference, for which at least 
two weeks prior notice has been given. 

Meetings of the Local Congregation: Each 
local congregation will meet regularly for the 
public worship of God. The times of worship and 
of the observances of the ordinances shall be ar- 
ranged by the local congregation. The ordinances 
of the Gospel are administered only by ordained 
ministers. The ordinance of Baptism should take 
place as soon as practicable after conversion. The 
ordinances of the Lord's Supper and the Washing 
of the Saints' Feet should take place at stated times 
as arranged by the local congregation. 



71 



The pastor is the chairman of the business meet- 
ing of the local congregation. A local congregation 
which has no pastor or one whose pastor is volun- 
tarily absent or providentially hindered from at- 
tending a business meeting may elect a temporary 
chairman and attend to necessary business. In the 
business of the excommunication of a member 
or the selling or transferring of church property, 
should the church be without a pastor, then the 
church should call the Executive Committee of the 
Conference of which it is a member to appoint an 
ordained minister to serve as moderator for said 
business. All business meetings are conducted 
according to the rules of order prescribed by The 
Articles of Faith and Principles of Church Government 
for Original Free Will Baptists (of the English General 
Baptist Heritage). (See Section 5.) 

The local church, being of the Original Free 
Will Baptist order, does covenant and agree to 
assemble four times a year (every three months) 
for the purpose of holding a godly conference. 
Then and there the business of the church shall 
be transacted. 



72 



However, in the case of necessity or emergency, 
the church may call a special session of confer- 
ence, after giving notice to the pastor and mem- 
bers (notice being one week or one meeting of the 
church) and transact the business needed to be 
attended to, confining their business transactions 
to the items for which the conference was called. 
(See Section 1: Board of Trustees.) 

Objects and Duties of the Local Congregation 

The object of the local congregation is to be the 
people of God. This is accomplished by working 
together to practice Christian living and to carry 
out a Christian ministry in the community 

It is the duty of each congregation to establish 
and sustain public worship of God on a regular 
basis. This includes Sunday service and such mid- 
week services as are deemed necessary. 

It is the duty of each congregation to establish 
and sustain a program of Christian education. 
This program shall involve as its subject both 
Scripture and the faith and history of the Free Will 
Baptist denomination, and shall use all methods 
and tools that will result in the effective educa- 
tional ministry 

73 



It is the duty of each congregation to estab- 
lish and sustain such auxiliary programs as are 
deemed necessary. 

It is the duty of each congregation to work for 
and maintain the highest possible standards of 
justice, righteousness, and love in community 
affairs. Further, it is the duty of each congregation 
to win people to the cause of Christ. 

It is the duty of each congregation to pay into 
its treasury sufficient funds to support local 
church programs and the entire denominational 
program. 

It is the duty of each congregation to be repre- 
sented by delegation and to participate totally in 
the Conference to which it belongs, and to abide by 
the rules and regulations each conference adopts 
for its member churches. This duty includes the 
report by annual letter and contributions for their 
expenses and programs of the conference. It is the 
privilege of each local congregation to participate 
in the Union Meeting. 

It is the duty of each congregation to represent 
by delegation and by annual letter to the Con- 

74 



vention of Original Free Will Baptist Churches. 
Further, that God's will may be done, each con- 
gregation shall make financial contributions to 
the denominational ministries, institutions, and 
benevolent work. 



Organization and Establishment of a 
New Church from a Mission 

Organization of a Mission: A Church begins 
as a mission and operates for at least one year 
under the supervision of the Executive Commit- 
tee of the Conference, the Home Missions Board, 
and /or the Conference Mission Board, where 
one exists. 

When a group of believers desires to be orga- 
nized into an Original Free Will Baptist Mission, 
they shall make application to the Conference 
Executive Committee within whose bounds the 
proposed mission is to be located. The Executive 
Committee is to contact the Convention Mission 
Board and the Conference Mission Board, if one 
exists, to work together in the establishment and 
development of the mission. 

When an application has been received, the 



75 



Committee and Board(s) shall make an investi- 
gation. The investigation shall include the fol- 
lowing: 

(1) A sufficient number of responsible believ- 
ers 

(2) Doctrine, practice, polity and purpose 

(3) Location 

(4) Potentiality of financial income 

(5) Willingness to accept direction 

(6) Potential for future growth and develop- 
ment. 



In accordance with The Articles of Faith and Prin- 
ciples of Church Government for Original Free Will 
Baptists (of the English General Baptist Heritage) and 
any requirements of the Conference, the Execu- 
tive Committee of the Conference and the Mis- 
sion Board(s) shall set forth the procedures and 
requirements for recognition of an Original Free 
Will Baptist Mission. Minimum requirements for 
the establishment of a Mission are as follows: 



76 



(1) The person in charge of a mission should 
be an ordained minister in good stand- 
ing with the Conference to which he 
belongs and the Conference to which 
the mission belongs, if different Con- 
ferences are involved. 

(2) If the mission board finds it necessary 
or expedient to use a licensed minister 
at a mission point he is to be under the 
watch-care of the board. 

(3) If property is owned or to be pur- 
chased, a thorough inspection of the 
deed is to be made and the property is 
to be deeded jointly to the local confer- 
ence or the Mission Board for a period 
of 10 years after which the mission or 
church shall become the sole owner 
upon the mission or church's request; 
provided all financial obligations to 
denominational enterprises are satis- 
fied. Following the 10 year period, the 
trustees of the local church shall hold 
the title to said property in trust for 
those members who remain faithful 
to The Articles of Faith and Principles 
of Church Government for Original Free 
Will Baptists (of the English General 
Baptist Heritage). 

This 10-year period of joint ownership 
shall begin with the organization of 
the mission. 

(4) The mission shall follow the manual 
published by the Mission Board (s). 



77 



(5) In the mission no one person shall 
serve more than two of the basic of- 
fices at the same time. 



The privileges and duties of a mission under the 
auspices of the Conference Executive Committee 
and /or Mission Board (s) are as follows: 

(1) Mission members are to be received 
under the same requirements as those 
of an established church. 

(2) The mission, subject to the direction of 
the Conference Executive Committee 
and / or Mission Board(s), can conduct 
its business and carry out its affairs as 
an established church. 

(3) As to the affairs of the mission requir- 
ing the work of an ordained minister, 
the Conference Executive Committee 
and / or Mission Board(s) shall provide 
or make arrangements for an ordained 
minister to be present, should the mis- 
sion not have an official pastor. 



Establishment of a New Church from a Mis- 
sion: When an Original Free Will Baptist Mission 
desires to be established as an Original Free Will 
Baptist Church, it shall make application to the 
Conference Executive Committee within whose 
bounds the proposed church is to be located. The 



78 



Executive Committee is to contact the Convention 
Mission Board and the Conference Mission Board, 
if one exists, to work together in the establishment 
of the church. 

When an application has been received, the 
Executive Committee shall make an investigation. 
The investigation shall include the following: 

(1) A sufficient number of responsible 
believers 

(2) Doctrine, practice, polity, and 
purpose 

(3) Location 

(4) Potentially of financial income 

(5) Potential for future growth and 
development. 

The Conference Executive Committee shall 
carry out the procedures and requirements of the 
Conference and The Articles of Faith and Principles 
of Church Government for recognition as an Origi- 
nal Free Will Baptist Church. 

If the findings of the investigation are satisfac- 
tory, the organization is perfected as follows: 

(1) The officers are elected. 

(2) The Bible is presented as the Word 
of God. 



79 



(3) The Articles of Faith and Principles 
of Church Government are read and 
adopted. 

(4) The Church Covenant is explained 
and adopted. 

(5) A prayer of consecration is offered. 

(6) The hand of fellowship is given to the 
church by the Moderator and Execu- 
tive Committee of the Conference. 

When a mission is established as a new church 
and is accepted by the Conference, its properties 
(after all requirements set forth in No. 3 Page 76 
have been met) are held in trust by the trustees of 
that church for those members that remain faith- 
ful to The Articles of Faith and Principles of Church 
Government for Original Free Will Baptists (of the 
English General Baptist Heritage). 

Establishment and Organization of a Non- 
Mission Church 

When a body of believers desires to be estab- 
lished as an Original Free Will Baptist Church of 
the Convention and does not deem it necessary 
to begin as a mission, they shall petition the Ex- 
ecutive Committee of the Conference in whose 
bounds the proposed church is to be located. The 
moderator shall call the Executive Committee of 
said Conference immediately for an investigation. 

80 



If the investigation is satisfactory, the organization 
is perfected as follows: 

(1) The Bible is presented as the only rule 
of faith and practice. 

(2) The Articles of Faith and Principles of 
Church Government for Original Free 
Will Baptists (of the English General 
Baptist Heritage) is read. 

(3) The Church Covenant is explained 
and adopted. 

(4) The officers are elected. 

(5) A prayer of consecration is offered. 

(6) Upon their acceptance at the annual 
Conference the moderator shall extend 
the hand of fellowship. 

Relationship of the Local Church to 
the Conference 

Each local church is a distinct organization, 
with full authority to manage its own internal af- 
fairs, elect its officers, receive, dismiss, discipline, 
and exclude members in accordance with this 
book of discipline. 

The annual Conference is a distinct organiza- 
tion made up of its member churches, represented 
by delegation, and its member ministers and 
its own elected officials. It has full authority to 
manage its own affairs and the responsibilities 
designated and delegated by its members. 



81 



Since neither the local congregation nor the 
annual Conference exists as an Original Free 
Will Baptist entity apart from the other, the an- 
nual Conference, being the highest tribunal, shall 
have final disciplinary authority over the local 
church. 



82 



SECTION 2: THE MINISTRY 

The Call 

Having recognized that God calls His people 
into His service, no member shall take unto him- 
self the public Ministry of the Gospel unless he 
feels sure he is Divinely called to that Ministry 
Each individual's Divine calling is unique and 
different. Such a calling must contain at least these 
three elements. 

First, he must know the One who does the call- 
ing; i.e., he must be a Christian. No person can in 
truth say that he has been called into the Gospel 
Ministry unless he has a "saving" relationship 
with the Father. 

Second, he must possess natural ability or abili- 
ties and be committed to improving the abilities 
he has and acquiring additional abilities that can 
be used in the services of the Ministry. 

Third, he sees the needs of God's people and 
is willing to be an instrument to help fill those 
needs. Further, he is willing to minister to those 
outside of Christ. 

Involvement in a call to the Gospel Ministry is 
a call to grow and prepare that the Ministry may 
serve God's purpose. 

Hebrews 5:4, 1 Corinthians 9:16, Acts 13:2, Acts 20:28, 1 Timo- 
thy 4:13-16; and 2 Timothy 2:15. 



83 



Examination and Qualifications for License 
Qualifications: A person who desires license 
into the Ministry of the Original Free Will Baptist 
Denomination must have the following qualifica- 
tions: 

(1) He must have the experience of a Di- 
vine call to the Gospel Ministry. 

(2) He must be a member in good standing 
of an Original Free Will Baptist Church 
for at least one year. 

(3) He must be willing to meet the required 

standard for licensing set forth by the 
Ordaining Council of the Conference 
in which his church is a member (see 
1 Timothy 3:2-7, 2 Timothy 2:15, Titus 
1:9, and 2 Timothy 1:7—2:2). 

Procedures: A proper candidate for licensing into 
the Gospel Ministry must also adhere to the fol- 
lowing procedures: 

(1) He must report to his local church his 
call to the Gospel Ministry. 

(2) The church in a business session must 
recommend the candidate to the 
Conference Ordaining Council for 
examination for license with a letter 
signed by the clerk and pastor. 

(3) The Ordaining Council shall give the 
applicant an examination embracing 



84 



matters of faith, doctrine, polity, and 
purpose respecting the work of the 
Ministry. They shall also investigate 
the reputation and ability of the can- 
didate and his present and prospec- 
tive educational and professional 
qualifications. 

(4) The responsibility is on the candidate 
to demonstrate his qualifications and 
abilities. Having successfully passed 
the examination and investigation, the 
candidate is then recommended back 
to the church, who then shall issue to 
the applicant a license for one year. 

(5) If during the period of license the li- 
centiate walks disorderly, the church 
and /or the Conference has the power 
to recall the license at its own discre- 
tion. 

(6) The license of the applicant must not 
be allowed to lapse during any time 
prior to ordination. 

Examination and Qualifications for 
Ordination 

Qualifications: A person who desires to be or- 
dained into the Gospel Ministry of the Original 
Free Will Baptist Denomination must have the 
following qualifications: 

(1) He must have been a licensed minister 
for at least one year and not more than 
five years. 



85 



(2) He must have successfully completed 
the examination administered by the 
Ordaining Council of his Conference. 
The examination shall include an inquiry 
into his educational achievement and 
his knowledge of theology, homiletics, 
church history, Bible and church govern- 
ment, with special emphasis on the polity, 
doctrine and history of the Original Free 
Will Baptist Denomination. 

(3) He must ascribe to the Ministerial code 
of ethics as adopted by the conference of 
which he is a member. 

Procedures: A proper candidate for ordination 
into the Gospel Ministry must also adhere to the 
following procedures: 

(1) The church must request that the 
Ordaining Council of the Conference 
of which the church is a member give 
the licensed minister the examination 
for ordination. The request must be by 
letter signed by the clerk and pastor of 
the candidate's church. 

(2) The responsibility is on the candidate 
to demonstrate his qualifications and 
abilities for ordination. 

(3) Upon satisfactory completion of the 
examination and all other require- 
ments of the Conference, the Council 
administers the rite of ordination, 
which shall include a charge to the 
candidate, presentation of a Bible, 



86 



the laying on of hands with a prayer 
of consecration, and the presentation 
of the Certificate of Ordination. (See 
1 Timothy 4:14, 2 Timothy 1:6, Acts 
13:3, Acts 6:6). 

Examination and Procedures for Transfer from 
Another Denomination 

An ordained minister coming from another 
denomination must first resign the ordination 
from the church he is leaving. He must unite with 
an Original Free Will Baptist Church, request ap- 
proval and direction from the local church and 
local ordaining council, and show a willingness 
to abide by their decision and recommendations. 
Upon meeting the above requirements to the 
satisfaction of the Ordaining Council, the minis- 
ter shall be questioned and shall meet the same 
requirements as would one of our own licensed 
ministers who is examined for ordination. 

Relationship to the Conference 

The Original Free Will Baptist minister derives 
his authority from the Conference and must abide 
by the decisions of the Conference. 

(1) The minister must be ordained by the 
Conference in which he was licensed and 



87 



remains a member of said Conference until 
he is duly transferred. 

(2) The minister who desires to transfer his 
Conference membership to another Confer- 
ence shall ask for a letter of recommenda- 
tion from his Conference. He shall remain 
a member of his original Conference until 
that Conference is officially notified of his 
acceptance by the Conference to which he 
has transferred. 

(3) Each Conference exercises authority over 
Original Free Will Baptist ministers in its 
membership or those serving within its 
bounds. 

(4) In cases of discipline: ministers shall be en- 
titled to a trial with the Ordaining Council 
serving as a trial board. The charges must 
be in writing, and the minister charged must 
have the opportunity to be heard in defense 
of himself. When confronted with accusa- 
tions or charges a minister shall be entitled 
to the opportuntiy to clear his reputation. 
Trials must therefore be conducted with 
discretion. The procedures are as follows: 

88 



(A) A charge against an ordained or licensed 
minister must be presented to the appropri- 
ate committee (Ordaining Council, Ministe- 
rial Character Board, Examining Board, etc.) 
in writing, signed by the accuser, together 
with the evidence to support the charge. 

(B) Charges must be examined by the appropri- 
ate committees (Ordaining Council, Minis- 
terial Character Board, etc.) to determine if 
they are legitimate (pertaining to matters 
of doctrine, polity, ethics, or morality). 
Personal grievances disguised as charges 
are not legitimate; however, if they repre- 
sent factionalism in the church where he is 
pastor, the matter should be turned over to 
the Executive Committee and the Ordain- 
ing Council. 

(C) If the charges are legitimate, the minister is 
to have a fair and impartial trial by the ap- 
propriate committee, (Ordaining Council, 
or Ministerial Character Board, etc.) 

(D) The minister is entitled to face his accuser(s) 
and present proper defence. The committee 
conducting the trial has an obligation to the 
minister to either find him guilty or to clear 
his name of all charges. 



89 



(1) If a minister's name is cleared no public record 
is made except at the request of the accused. 

(2) If the minister is found guilty, the standing of the 

minister may be made known to the church of 
the Conference or Conferences involved. 

(3) The minutes of said trial should be recorded 
only in the minutes of the appropriate com- 
mittee. 

(4) The results of said trial should be reported to 
the Conference. 

(E) Appeal Procedure. The accused, if found 
guilty, may appeal the procedure of the 
trial committee as follows: 

(1) The minister may ask the conference to 
investigate the procedures of the trial 
committee. 

(2) The committee that is to investigate the 
trial is to deal only with the procedures 
followed by the trial committee. 

(3) If the committee finds that the trial commit- 
tee followed proper procedure and that the 
rights of the accused have been respected, 
the decision of the trial committee is final. 

(4) If the committee finds that the trial com- 
mittee did err in conducting the trial, the 
investigating committee may make such 
recommendations that insures that justice 
will be done. 



90 



(F) A minister serving in the bounds of a 
Conference of which he is not a member 
shall be tried with the same procedures 
with the following exception: The Or- 
daining Council of the Conference where 
he holds membership shall be invited to 
sit on the trial board. The decision of this 
trial board is final. 

The ordained minister must cooperate and 
promote the work of the denomination at all 
times and must attend the yearly meeting of the 
Conference or represent by letter. 

Vocational Responsibilities of the Minister 

By the very nature of his calling the minister 
is to faithfully preach the Word, to have general 
superintendence of the church, to be an example 
to the flock, to visit the members — especially the 
sick — as he has opportunity, to serve as counselor, 
to serve as teacher — especially in a program of 
Christian education, to administer the ordinances 
of the gospel, to do all within his power to pro- 
mote the spiritual interest of the church which 
he serves, and to advance the cause of Christ 
among men. 



91 



The minister is expected to relate to his fellow 
ministers in a gracious and fair manner as reflect- 
ed by the Code of Ethics adopted by the Ministe- 
rial Association of Original Free Will Baptists and 
is expected to conduct himself in a professional 
manner in all public relations involving persons 
or institutions. 



92 



SECTION 3: 



THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE 

Introduction 

The Annual Conference is the highest ecclesias- 
tical tribunal, deriving its power from its member 
churches, which shall have final disciplinary au- 
thority over its member churches and ministers. 
The description of this authority is The Articles 
of Faith and Principles of Church Government for 
Original Free Will Baptists (of the English General 
Baptist Heritage). 

Organization 

The basic governmental principle, structure, 
and procedures of an Annual Conference are as 
follows: 

The officers and boards of the Annual Confer- 
ence shall consist of at least a Moderator, an Assis- 
tant Moderator, Treasurer, Clerk, Board of Trust- 
ees, Ordaining Council, Executive Committee. 
Each Conference may establish such additional 
offices and/ or boards as it deems necessary 

All officers are elected by and serve at the will 
of the Annual Conference, under such terms 



93 



and length of tenure of office as is set forth by 
the Conference. In addition, all offices must be 
filled by active members of a church which is a 
member of the Annual Conference or by ministers 
who must be members in good standing of the 
Conference. 

All standing and temporary boards and com- 
mittees shall report all action and decisions to the 
Annual Conference. 

Moderator 

The Moderator is the chief executive officer of 
the Conference and it shall be his duty to preside 
over all business sessions of the Annual Confer- 
ence and its Executive Committee. The Moderator 
shall have such privileges and responsibilities as 
prescribed by the rules of order and parliamentary 
procedures, and as set forth by the Annual Confer- 
ence. He is an ex officio member of all boards and 
committees of the Annual Conference. 

Assistant Moderator 

The Assistant Moderator shall serve in the 
absence of the moderator. He is a member of the 
Executive Committee. 



94 



Treasurer 

The Treasurer shall be entrusted with the funds 
of the Annual Conference and keep an account of 
all money received. He shall pay all bills as autho- 
rized by the Conference and make a report of all 
receipts and disbursements annually, or as often 
as the Conference may require. All the records 
of the Treasurer are the property of the Annual 
Conference. They are open to inspection by mem- 
bers upon reasonable request. All records, at the 
direction of the Conference, are to be submitted 
for a financial audit. The Treasurer shall relinquish 
the records and all funds to his successor. He is a 
member of the Executive Committee. 

Clerk 

The Clerk shall keep proper Conference records 
including a membership roll and a record of 
Conference and Executive Committee business 
meetings. The Clerk shall sign all legal letters au- 
thorized by the Conference. All the records of the 
Clerk are the property of the Annual Conference 
and he shall relinquish all Conference records to 
his successor. The Clerk is a member of the Execu- 
tive Committee. 



95 



Board of Trustees 

The Trustees shall hold title to all property, 
maintain all legal rights to said property on be- 
half of the Annual Conference and convey said 
property at the discretion of the Annual Confer- 
ence (in session). 

Ordaining Council 

The Ordaining Council shall examine and 
certify each candidate for the ministry accord- 
ing to the procedures set forth in Section 2 of The 
Articles of Faith and Principles of Church Govern- 
ment for Original Free Will Baptists (of the English 
General Baptist Heritage) entitled "The Ministry" 
and the additional procedures adopted by the 
Annual Conference. The Ordaining Council shall 
ordain such candidates who satisfactorily meet 
the requirements. In addition, the Council shall 
examine each minister of another Conference 
who wishes to accept the "call" to a church in 
the Conference. 

The Ordaining Council shall also serve as a trial 
board in such cases where charges are brought 
against a minister. The Ordaining Council shall 
have authority to make necessary investigation 
in such cases. 



96 



The Ordaining Council shall follow the proce- 
dures set forth in The Articles of Faith and Principles 
of Church Government for Original Free Will Baptists 
(of the English General Baptist Heritage) and the ad- 
ditional procedures adopted by the Annual Con- 
ference. At the discretion of the Annual Confer- 
ence a part of the duties of the Ordaining Council 
may be assigned to another board or committee, 
such as a Ministerial Character Committee. 

Executive Committee 

The Executive Committee shall be composed 
of the Moderator, Assistant Moderator, Trea- 
surer, Clerk, and such members at large as the 
Conference deems necessary. It shall be the duty 
of the Executive Committee to act with the same 
authority as the Conference during intervals be- 
tween sessions on matters concerning ministers, 
churches, and other business, except conveying 
of property, that may require its attention. 

The Executive Committee shall be empowered 
to make temporary or permanent appointments 
to fill vacancies on a board or committee until the 
next session of the Conference. 

The Executive Committee shall meet as often 
as necessary to attend to Conference business and 

97 



shall be responsible for preparing a program for 
each session of the Conference. 

The Executive Committee or such committee 
as the conference appoints to act on its behalf 
shall be responsible as a trial committee in cases 
of church disputes. The Scripture teaches us to 
refrain from going to civil courts and to form 
counsels to settle disputes and establish justice 
among brethren. (See Acts 15:1-32, Galatians 2:lff, 
1 Corinthians 6:lff.) 

(A) Investigation: When a church or 
congregation is engaged in factional, 
doctrinal, and /or disciplinary dis- 
putes, the Executive Committee shall 
upon invitation from member(s) of 
said church shall assemble themselves 
upon the premises of their local church 
for the purpose of inquiry, examina- 
tion or questioning that peace may be 
established in an orderly and godly 
manner. 

In cases of extreme factionalism 
and disputes the Executive Commit- 
tee shall be empowered to investigate 
said disputes at its own discretion. 
The purpose of this shall be only for 
investigation, to determine if there 
are sufficient grounds for charges to 
be filed or further action. 



98 



(B) Charges: 

(1) Charges must be filed with the 
Executive Committee in writing 
and signed by member(s) of the 
church together with evidence to 
support the charges. 

(2) Charges must be examined by the 
Executive Committee to determine 
if they are legitimate (pertaining to 
matters of doctrine, polity, ethics, 
or morality). Personal grievances 
disguised as charges are not legiti- 
mate. 

(3) Charges involving the minister 
should be turned over to the Or- 
daining Council or jointly with 
Ordaining Council and Executive 
Committee. 

(4) If the Executive Committee deter- 
mines that the charges are legiti- 
mate, the accused is to have a fair 
and impartial hearing. 

(5) After the Executive Committee 
has met to investigate a church 
because of factional disputes or 
doctrinal and disciplinary infrac- 
tions and given its decision and 
recommendation, the church or 
group within the church has the 
right to appeal to the Annual Con- 
ference to determine whether or 
not the investigation was carried 
out according to the Articles of Faith 
and Principles of Church Government 



99 



for Original Free Will Baptists (of the 
English General Baptist Heritage): 
to determine whether or not the 
decision(s) of the Executive Com- 
mittee were just and proper. Oth- 
erwise, the committee's decision is 
final. 

(6) Member or members of a church 
who are called upon to assemble 
themselves for the purpose of the 
aforesaid investigation have a 
moral responsibility to be coopera- 
tive. 

(C) In cases whereby a church splits, the 
Executive Committee is assigned the 
responsibility of determining and 
identifying the group that is the true 
original church, loyal to Articles of Faith 
and Principles of Church Government for 
Original Free Will Baptists (of the English 
General Baptist Heritage), and the intent 
and purpose of the organization of the 
church. In such cases, the group deter- 
mined to be the true church is entitled to 
all rights, privileges, real property, assets 
and records of the church. 



Membership and Representation 

Each Annual Conference shall be composed 
of affiliated churches and missions within its 
bounds, all affiliated ordained ministers, all gen- 

100 



eral officers, and members of standing boards and 
committees of the Conference. 

Churches are received into the membership of 
the Annual Conference under regulations set forth 
in the Articles of Faith and Principles of Church Gov- 
ernment for Original Free Will Baptists (of the English 
General Baptist Heritage). Only churches in good 
standing are honorably dismissed from the Con- 
ference and these for no other reason than to unite 
with some other Conference that has adopted the 
Articles of Faith and Principles of Church Govern- 
ment for Original Free Will Baptists (of the English 
General Baptist Heritage). It is therefore contrary 
to the practices of Original Free Will Baptists for 
any church to disband or dissolve its connection 
with its Conference without the approval of that 
Conference, nor may any Conference receive into 
its membership a church that has been rejected or 
excommunicated by a sister Conference unless 
reconciliation is made with that Conference. 

Ministers are received into membership of the 
Annual Conference in accordance to the regula- 
tions set forth in the Articles of Faith and Principles 
of Church Government for Original Free Will Baptists 
(of the English General Baptist Heritage). Ministers 
are governed, disciplined, and /or dismissed 



101 



by the Conference in accordance to the Articles 
of Faith and Principles of Church Government for 
Original Free Will Baptists (of the English General 
Baptist Heritage). Each Conference may adopt its 
own procedures so long as it does not conflict 
with the Articles of Faith and Principles of Church 
Government for Original Free Will Baptists (of the 
English General Baptist Heritage). 

Each church holding membership in its Annual 
Conference shall represent by letter and is entitled 
to one delegate for each one hundred members or 
fraction thereof at each session of the Conference. 
Each delegate is entitled to voting privileges. 

Voting in the Conference is the privilege and 
responsibility of delegates representing member 
churches of the Conference, ministers who are 
members of the Conference, general officers of 
the Conference, and members of standing boards 
and committees of the Conference. 

Voting privileges of licensed ministers are left 
up to the discretion of the Conference. 

Rules of Conference Government 

Meetings: The Conference shall meet annually. 
Special sessions may be called at the discretion of 
the Executive Committee. 



102 



Rules of Order: The Conference sessions shall 
be governed by Robert's Rules of Order and such 
rules as set forth by the Articles of Faith and Prin- 
ciples of Church Government for Original Free Will 
Baptists (of the English General Baptist Heritage). 

Each minister, delegate, or other members of the 
Annual Conference shall be represented at each 
annual session as required by the Conference or 
be subject to disciplinary action. 

Receiving Members: Church will be received 
according to the prescribed conditions set forth 
under the sections 'The Establishment of a New 
Church from a Mission/' or "Establishment of a 
Non-Mission Church" on Pages 80-81. The vote 
of the Conference in annual session confirms 
membership. 

Objects and Duties of the Conference 

The object of the Conference shall be to promote 
Christ's Kingdom among men by means of a 
larger fellowship, and to seek to more effectively 
coordinate and regulate the work of the local Con- 
ference and its member churches in accordance 
with the Articles of Faith and Principles of Church 
Government for Original Free Will Baptists (of the 
English General Baptist Heritage). 



103 



It is the duty of each Conference to work for and 
maintain the highest possible standards of justice, 
righteousness, and love among its members and 
to encourage the support of denominational min- 
istries of the Original Free Will Baptists. 

It is the duty of each Conference to recommend 
ministerial candidates for church license and to 
examine and ordain qualified persons as minis- 
ters within Conference bounds. In addition, it is 
the duty of the Conference to maintain Christian 
discipline among its member ministers. 



104 



SECTION 4: CONVENTION OF 
ORIGINAL FREE WILL BAPTISTS 
Introduction 

The State Convention of Original Free Will 
Baptists of North Carolina was organized in 1913 
for the purpose of extending the denominational 
program. It is a coordinating body working for 
the cooperation of the churches, conferences, 
ministers, and institutions of the Original Free 
Will Baptists. (The name of the State Convention 
was changed in 1991 to the Convention of Original 
Free Will Baptists.) 

The Convention is both an inclusive and an 
exclusive body. It is inclusive in that it is made up 
of all bodies and institutions of Original Free Will 
Baptists who accept the usage, customs, and prac- 
tices reflected in the Articles of Faith and Principles 
of Church Government for Original Free Will Baptists 
(of the English General Baptist Heritage). 

Objects and Duties 

The object of the Convention is to initiate, ad- 
vance, and promote the cause of Jesus Christ in 
the world. The Convention shall organize its work 
in such a manner as to be expedient, cooperative, 
and departmentalized. 



105 



It shall be the duty of the Convention to solicit 
the cooperation of its members in promoting the 
work of the Convention. 

It shall be the duty of the Convention to clearly 
set forth such rules for the work that it deems 
necessary. 

It shall be the duty of the Convention to estab- 
lish conferences in those areas where there are no 
Conferences and where churches have adopted 
the Articles of Faith and Principles of Church Govern- 
ment for Original Free Will Baptists (of the English 
General Baptist Heritage). 

It shall be the duty of the Convention to prepare 
and publish a Constitution and Bylaws for its 
government; the Constitution and By-laws shall 
at all times be consistent with and subject to the 
Articles of Faith and Principles of Church Government 
for Original Free Will Baptists (of the English General 
Baptist Heritage). 

It shall be the duty of the Convention to pro- 
mote love, justice, and righteousness among its 
members, as prescribed in Micah 6:8. 

Organization 

Officers: The officers of the Convention shall 
consist of at least the following: President, Vice 

106 



President, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer. The 
Convention may establish such additional offices 
it deems necessary. All officers are elected by and 
serve at the will of the Convention, under such 
terms and length of tenure of office as are set forth 
by the Convention. 

President: The President is the chief executive 
officer of the Convention and shall preside over 
all business sessions of the Convention and its 
Executive Committee. The President shall have 
such privileges and responsibilities as prescribed 
by the rules of order and parliamentary proce- 
dures set forth by the Convention. He is an ex 
officio member of all boards and committees of 
the Convention. 

Vice President: The Vice President shall serve in 
the absence of the president. He is a member of 
the Executive Committee. 

Recording Secretary: The Recording Secretary 
shall keep proper Convention records, including 
a membership roll and a record of Convention 
and Executive Committee business meetings. 
The Recording Secretary shall sign all legal letters 
authorized by the Convention. All the records of 
the Recording Secretary are the property of the 
Convention and he shall relinquish all convention 



107 



records to his successor. The Recording Secretary 
is a member of the Executive Committee. 

Assistant Recording Secretary: The Assistant 
Recording Secretary shall serve in the absence of 
the Recording Secretary. He is a member of the 
Executive Committee. 

Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be entrusted with 
the funds of the Convention and keep an account 
of all money received. He shall pay all bills as 
authorized by the Convention, and make a report 
of all receipts and disbursements annually, or 
as often as the Convention may require. All the 
records of the Treasurer are the property of the 
Convention. They are open to inspection by the 
members upon reasonable request. All records, at 
the direction of the Convention, are to be submit- 
ted for a financial audit. The Treasurer shall relin- 
quish the records and all funds to his successor. 
He is a member of the Executive Committee. 

Boards and Committees: In addition to its Ex- 
ecutive Committee, the Convention may establish 
such boards, committees, and commissions that 
it deems necessary to carry out its programs. 
The Executive Committee shall be composed of 
the standing officers of the Convention and such 
members at large as the Convention deems nec- 



108 



essary. The Executive Committee shall act with 
the same authority as the Convention during in- 
tervals between sessions. All of the Convention's 
standing and temporary boards, committees, and 
commissions are subject to the directions of the 
Executive Committee during intervals between 
sessions. Other duties may be assigned to the 
Executive Committee at the discretion of the Con- 
vention. All the standing and temporary boards, 
committees, and commissions are to report to the 
Convention for the Convention's final approval. 

Institutions: All institutions, auxiliaries and 
ministries, born because of a recognized need by 
the denomination and authorized by the parent 
body are to adhere to the denominational prin- 
ciples and to be servants of the denomination. 

Membership: Members of the Convention shall 
consist of the Conferences that have adopted the 
Articles of Faith and Principles of Church Government 
for Original Free Will Baptists (of the English General 
Baptist Heritage). Ministers who are members in 
good standing with their Conference are members 
of the Convention with right to vote. Churches in 
good standing with their Conferences are mem- 
bers of the Convention with the right of represen- 
tation of one delegate for each 100 members or 
fraction thereof. The Convention shall designate 

109 



member conferences in its yearly minutes. 

Conference: When a sufficient number of 
churches wish to become a conference or when 
there is need for an investigation of a new confer- 
ence the Executive Committee of the Convention 
shall make an investigation and, if the investiga- 
tion is satisfactory, shall report to the Convention 
with a recommendation to receive into member- 
ship. Any church already a member of an existing 
Conference must be granted a letter of honorable 
dismissal from the Conference where it holds 
membership. The Executive Committee shall 
make its investigation as follows: 

(1) Have the churches of the new Conference 
adopted the Articles of Faith and Principles 
of Church Government for Original Free Will 
Baptists (of the English General Baptist Heri- 
tage)? 

(2) Has the Conference adopted the Articles of 
Faith and Principles of Church Government 
for Original Free Will Baptists (of the English 
General Baptist Heritage)? 

(3) Have the Conference and its individual 
members agreed to support the program, 



110 



institutions, agencies, and ministries of the 

Original Free Will Baptists? 
In the event that the Executive Committee is 
not satisfied with the findings of the investigation, 
the Executive Committee shall work with the pro- 
spective Conference to bring it into compliance. 

Foreign Missions 

Since the work of the Original Free Will Baptists 
has become international in scope, we recognize 
that the native/ national Free Will Baptist church- 
es/ conferences have their own unique and pecu- 
liar patterns of church work, ministry, and rules in 
compliance with the Articles of Faith and Principles 
of Church Government for Original Free Will Baptists 
(of the English General Baptist Heritage). 

It shall be the purpose of the Free Will Baptist 
Church to place the leadership and control of 
its missionary work in the hands of its national 
constituency as soon as practicable. To this end all 
missionaries are directed constantly to cultivate 
among national Christians self-support, self-gov- 
ernment, and responsibility for the propagation 
of the gospel in that field. 

It is expressly understood that foreign churches 
shall function according to the Articles of Faith and 
Principles of Church Government for Original Free 
Will Baptists (of the English General Baptist Heri- 

111 



tage). It is further understood that every foreign 
missionary is required to be a member in good 
standing of a Conference in good standing with 
the Convention until the native/ national churches 
are sufficiently developed and organized to oper- 
ate as a denominational church. The missionary, 
under the supervision of the Foreign Mission 
Board, may act on behalf of his Conference in the 
organizing of foreign churches and ordaining of 
foreign ministers. 

The native/ national Original Free Will Baptist 
churches shall operate under the Articles of Faith 
and Principles for Church Government for Original 
Tree Will Baptists (of the English General Baptist 
Heritage), as administered by the Foreign Mission 
Board and under the guidance of the field council 
of that field. 

Home Missions 

Since the work of Original Free Will Baptists 
has grown beyond the bounds of the State we 
recognize that there are peculiar circumstances 
that must be considered in the establishment of 
churches. It is expressly understood that missions 
and churches outside the state bounds shall func- 
tion according to the Articles of Faith and Principles 



111 



of Church Government for Original Free Will Baptists 
(of the English General Baptist Heritage) and the 
guidelines of the Home Missions Board. 

Purpose: It shall be the purpose of the Free Will 
Baptist Board of Home Missions and Evangelism 
to supervise all missionary and church extension 
work within the continental United States. 

It is further understood that every missionary 
is required to be a member in good standing of 
a Conference that is in good standing with the 
Convention. 

In the organizing of missions into churches, the 
Home Mission Board shall operate in principle 
according to the Articles of Faith and Principles of 
Church Government for Original Free Will Baptists (of 
the English General Baptist Heritage) calling upon 
a local Conference when necessary. 



113 



SECTION 5: RULES OF ORDER 



These rules of order and parliamentary proce- 
dure are prescribed for all business meetings of 
the local church, union meetings, conferences, and 
conventions of Original Free Will Baptists. 

The term moderator means the presiding of- 
ficer of the local church, union, conference, or 
convention. 

The term member means church member for the 
local churches, ministers, delegates, and voting 
members for unions, conferences, and conven- 
tions. 

Rules of Order: All business sessions shall be 
governed by Robert's Rules of Order, and such rules 
as set forth in this section. 

Visiting Brethren: The Conference may extend 
to visiting brethren a welcome and the opportu- 
nity to bring greetings from their body. 

(1) If any member, in the judgment of the Con- 
ference, shall show anger in his discussion 
on any subject, he shall forfeit his seat in 
that session. 

(2) No member of the Conference shall be at 
liberty to withdraw without leave of the 
Moderator. 



114 



(3) The Conference shall adjourn by a major- 
ity vote. 

(4) Each officer and member of standing com- 
mittees and boards shall be entitled to a seat 
and vote in the Conference. 

(5) The Conference shall open and close with 
suitable devotions to God. 

(6) The minutes of the Conference shall be 
signed by the Moderator and Clerk. 

(7) A motion must be made by one member, 
seconded by another, and afterwards stated 
by the Moderator, before it is debated. A 
motion shall be reduced to writing by the 
mover at the request of any one member. 

(8) All resolutions shall be submitted in writ- 
ing. 

(9) A motion or resolution may be withdrawn 
at any time before a decision or amendment 
by the Conference. 

(10) Any motion or resolution containing more 
than one distinct proposition shall be di- 
vided, provided the call for division be 
sustained by a majority. 

(11) No motion to amend shall be in order be- 
yond a motion to amend an amendment. 

(12) No amendment relating to a different sub- 
ject shall be in order. 

115 



(13) A motion lost shall not be recorded except 
so ordered at the time. 

(14) When a member speaks or offers a motion, 
he shall rise and respectfully address the 
Moderator, confine himself to the ques- 
tion under consideration, and avoid all 
personalities and unkind and disrespectful 
language. 

(15) When two or more members rise to speak 
at the same time, the Moderator shall decide 
who is entitled to the floor. 

(16) While a member is speaking, no one shall 
interrupt him except to call him to order, or 
ask leave to explain or make explanation. 
The one allowed to explain shall confine 
himself strictly to an actual misunderstand- 
ing of language which may need explana- 
tion. 

(17) If the speaker yields the floor to another he 
cannot claim it again. 

(18) No member shall speak more than twice, 
or longer than five minutes at each time, on 
any question without leave of the Confer- 
ence, which leave shall be granted without 
debate. 



116 



(19) All conversation, by whispering or oth- 
erwise, which is calculated to disturb the 
speaker or hinder the transaction of busi- 
ness, and passing between the speaker and 
the chair, shall be out of order. 

(20) Committees shall be nominated by the 
Conference (no member being allowed 
to nominate more than one to the same 
committee), and the nomination then con- 
firmed by vote; or the committee may be 
named by the Moderator by request of the 
Conference. 

(21) The member first named to a Committee 
shall be its chairman to call the Commit- 
tee together, but after it is convened, the 
Committee may elect its own chairman 
and secretary. 

(22) Any subject under debate or any matter or 
business may be referred to a Committee, 
with or without instructions. 

(23) All reports of Committees shall be in writ- 
ing, signed by a majority of the Committee. 
When a majority report is followed by a 
minority report from the same Commit- 
tee, the former, after being read, shall lie 
on the table until the latter is presented, 



117 



after which the majority report may be 
considered. 

(24) A report of a Committee may be recom- 
mitted, when necessary for further inves- 
tigation or for presentation in some more 
acceptable form. 

(25) All reports when read shall be considered 
properly before the body without a motion 
to accept. 

(26) Voting shall be done by "aye" and "nay" 
by standing when a vote is close, or when 
it becomes necessary to count the affirma- 
tive and negative, and in special cases by 
ballot. 

(27) The Moderator, in case of a tie, may cast 
the deciding vote. 

(28) All members should vote on one side or 
the other, unless excused. 

(29) No motion, discussion, or other business 
shall be admitted while the vote is being 
taken. 

(30) Immediate action upon any question may 
be deferred by laying on the table until a 
specific time or indefinitely. Laying on the 
table does not kill a motion. It is intended 
to lay aside a proposition for a short but 



118 



indefinite time. It may be taken from the 
table by a majority vote at any time when 
no question is pending during this or the 
next session. If not taken from the table, 
then it is killed. 

(31) When a motion or resolution is before the 
body, the only motions in order shall be: 
1st, to adjourn; 2nd, previous question; 
3rd, to lay on the table; 4th, to postpone 
indefinitely; 5th, to postpone to a definite 
time; 6th, to refer; 7th, to divide, if division 
is admissible; 8th, to amend — to take pre- 
cedence as herein arranged. 

(32) Motions to adjourn, when to adjourn 
simple, to take previous question, and to 
lay on the table, must be decided without 
debate. 

(33) Names suggested for filling vacancies shall 
be voted on in order of their nomination; 
when different numbers and times are 
proposed, the greater number and longest 
time shall be voted on first. 

(34) Amotion to reconsider a motion previously 
passed must be made by one who voted in 
the affirmative when the motion passed, 
and if a vote to reconsider is lost, it cannot 
be renewed during this session. 

119 



(35) Revision. A revision of the Articles of Faith 
and Principles for Church Government for 
Original Free Will Baptists (of the English Gen- 
eral Baptist Heritage) may be authorized by a 
two-thirds majority vote of the Convention 
in regular session. 

(36) Revision Committee. The committee to 
revise the statement of Faith and Discipline 
shall consist of two representatives of each 
Conference in good standing with the 
Convention of Original Free Will Baptist 
churches. 

It is suggested that these two representa- 
tives come from the Executive Committee 
and/ or Ordaining Council. 

(37) This revision shall become valid upon its 
adoption by two-thirds of the conferences 
and Associations that belong to the Conven- 
tion of Original Free Will Baptists. 



120 



APPENDIX A 
A BRIEF CONFESSION 
OR 

DECLARATION OF FAITH 
PREFACE 1660 

A Brief Confession or Declaration of Faith set forth 
by many of us, who are (falsely) called ANA- 
BAPTISTS, to inform all Men (in these days of 
scandal and reproach) of our innocent Belief and 
Practise; for which we are not only resolved to 
suffer Persecution, to the loss of our Goods, but 
also Life itself, rather than to decline the same. 

Subscribed by certain Elders, Deacons, and 
Brethren, met at "London," in the first Month 
(called "March," 1660) in the behalf of themselves, 
and many others unto whom they belong, in 
"London," and in several Counties of this Nation, 
who are of the same Faith with us. 

"After the Way which men called Heresie, so 
worship we the God of our Fathers; Believing all 
things which are written in the Law, and in the 
Prophets," Acts 24.12— London— Printed by G.D. 
for "F. Smith," at the "Elephant and Castle," near 
Temple-Barr, 1660. 



I 



A Brief/ Confession / or /Declaration of Faith, / 
Set out by many of Us, who are (falsely) called 
"Ana-baptists/' to inform all men (in these days of 
scandal and reproach) of our innocent Belief, and 
Practice: for which we are not resolved to suffer 
persecution, to the loss of our Goods, but also life 
itself, rather than [sic] to decline the same. 

We believe and are verily confident, that there 
is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, 
from everlasting to everlasting, glorious, and 
unwordable in all his Attributes, 1 Cor. 8.6. Iza. 
40.28. 

That God in the beginning made Man "Up- 
right/' and put him into a state and condition of 
Glory, without the least mixture of misery, from 
which he by "transgression" fell, and so came 
into a miserable and mortal estate, subject unto 
the first death, Gen. 1.31. Eccles. 7.29. Gen. 2.17, 
18, 19. 

That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom 
are all things, who is the only begotten Son of 
God, born of the Virgin "Mary"; yet as whom 
God freely "gave himself a ransome for all," 1 
Tim. 2.5,6. "tasting death for every man," Heb. 
2.9. "a propitiation for our sins; and not for ours 
only, but also for the sins of the whole World," 1 
John 2.2. 

II 



That "God is not willing that any should perish, 
but that all should come to repentance/' 2 Pet. 3.9. 
"And the knowledge of the truth, that the Gos- 
pel (to wit, the glad ty dings of remission of sins) 
should be preached to every creature, Mark 16.15. 
So that no man shall eternally suffer in Hell (that 
is, the second death) for want of a Christ that dyed 
for them, but as the Scripture saith, for "denying 
the Lord that bought them," 2 Pet. 2.1. or because 
they "believe not in the name of the only begotten 
Son of God," John 3:18. Unbelief therefore being 
the cause why the just and righteous God, will 
condemn the children of men; it follows against 
all contradiction that all men at one time or other, 
are put into such a capacity, as that (through the 
grace of God) they may be eternally saved, John 
1.7. Acts 17.30. Mark 6.6. Heb. 3.10, 18, 19. 1 John 
5.10. John 3.17. 

That such who first orderly comes into, and 
are brought up in the School of Christs Church, 
and waiting there, comes to degrees of Christi- 
anity, rightly qualified, and considerably gifted 
by God's Spirit; ought to exercise their gifts not 
only in the Church but also (as occasion serves) 
to preach to the World (they being approved of 
by the Church so to do) Acts 11.22,23,24. Acts 



III 



11.19,20. and that among such some are to be 
chosen by the Church, and ordained by Fasting, 
Prayer, and Laying on of Hands, for the work 
of the Ministry, Acts 13.2,3. Acts 1.23. Such so 
ordained, (and abiding faithful in their work) 
we own as Ministers of the Gospel; but all such 
who come not first to repent of their sins, believe 
on the Lord Jesus, and so "Baptized" in his name 
for the remission of Sins, but are only brought up 
in the Schools of humane learning, to the attain- 
ing humane arts, and variety of languages, with 
many vain curiosities of speech, 1 Cor.l. 19,21. 2. 
1,4,5, seeking rather the gain of large revenues, 
than the gain of souls to God: such (we say) we 
utterly deny, being such as have need rather to be 
taught themselves, than fit to teach others, Rom. 
2.21. That the way set forth by God for men to be 
justified in, is by faith in Christ, Rom. 5.1. That is 
to say, when men shall assent to the truth of the 
Gospel, believing with all their hearts, that there 
is remission of sins, and eternal life to be had in 
Christ. 

And that Christ therefore is most worth their 
constant affections, and subjection to all his Com- 
mandments, and therefore resolve with purpose 
of heart so to subject unto him in all things, and 
no longer unto themselves, 2 Cor. 5.15. 

IV 



And so shall (with godly sorrow for the sins 
past) commit themselves to his grace, confidently 
depending upon him for that which they believe 
is to be had in him: such so believing are justified 
from all their sins, their faith shall be accounted for 
righteousness, Rom. 4.22,23,24. Rom. 3.25,26. 

That there is one holy Spirit, the precious gift of 
God, freely given to such as "obey him/' Ephes. 
4.4. Acts 5.32. that thereby they may be thoroughly 
[sic] sanctified, and made able (without which 
they are altogether unable) to abide stedfast in 
the faith, and to honour the Father, and his Son 
Christ, the Author and finisher of their faith; 1 
Cor. 6.11. Therefore are three that bear record in 
Heaven, the Father, the Word, the holy Spirit, and 
these three are one; which Spirit of promise such 
have not yet received, (though they speak much 
of him) that are so far out of "Love, Peace, Long- 
suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Meekness, and 
Temperance," (the fruits of the Spirit, Gal.5.22,23.) 
as that they breathe out much cruelty, and great 
envy against the Liberties, and peaceable living 
of such, as are not of their judgment, though holy 
as to their conversations. 

That God hath even before "the foundation of 
the World chosen" (or elected) "to eternal life, 



V 



such as believe/' and so are in Christ, the pur- 
pose of God according to election, was not in the 
least arising from foreseen faith in, or works of 
righteousness done by the creature, but only from 
the mercy, goodness, and compassion dwelling in 
God, and so "it is of him that calleth," Rom. 9.11. 
whose purity and unwordable holiness, cannot 
admit of any unclean person (or thing) to be in 
his presence, therefore his decree of mercy reaches 
only the godly man, whom (saith "David") God 
"hath set apart for himself," Psal. 4.3. That men 
not considered simply as men, but ungodly 
men "were of old ordained to condemnation, 
considered as such, who turn the grace of God 
into wantonness, and deny the only Lord God, 
and our Lord Jesus Christ, Jude 4. God indeed 
sends a strong delusion to men, that they might 
be damned; but we observe that they are such 
(as saith the Apostle) that "received not the love 
of the truth, that they might be saved," 2 Thes. 
2.10,11,12. and so the indignation and wrath of 
God, is upon "every soul" of man that doth "evil," 
(living and dying therein,) "for there is no respect 
of persons with God." Rom. 2.9, 10, 11. 

That all Children dying in Infancy, having not 
actually transgressed against the Law of God in 



VI 



their own persons, are only subject to the first 
death, which comes upon them by the sin of 
the first "Adam/ 7 from whence they shall be all 
raised by the second "Adam"; and not that any 
one of them (dying in that estate) shall suffer for 
"Adams" sin, eternal punishment in Hell, (which 
is the second death) "for of such belongs the 
kingdome of Heaven," 1 Cor. 15.22. Mat. 19.14. 
not daring to conclude with that uncharitable 
opinion of others, who though they plead much 
for the bringing of children into the visible Church 
here on earth by "Baptisme," yet nevertheless 
by their Doctrine that Christ dyed but for some, 
shut a great part of them out of the Kingdome 
of Heaven for ever. That the right and only way 
of gathering Churches, (according to Christs ap- 
pointment, Mat. 28.19, 20) is to first to teach, or 
preach the Gospel, Mark 16.16. to the Sons and 
Daughters of men; and then to Baptize (that is in 
English to Dip) in the name of the Father, Son, 
and Holy Spirit, or in the name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ; such only of them as profess "repentance 
towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus 
Christ," Acts 2.38. Acts 8.12. Acts 18.8. And as for 
all such who preach not this Doctrine, but instead 
thereof, that Scriptureless thing of Sprinkling of 



VII 



Infants ("falsely called Baptisme") whereby the 
pure "Word of God is made of no effect," and 
the new Testament way of bringing in Members, 
into the Church be regeneration, cast out; when 
as the bondwoman and her son, that is to say, 
the old Testament-way of bringing Children to 
the Church be generation, is cast out, as saith 
the Scripture, Gal. 4.30,22,23,24. Mat. 3.8,9. all 
such we utterly deny, forasmuch as we are com- 
manded to "have no fellowship with unfruitful 
works of darkness, but rather to reprove them" 
Ephes. 5.11. 

That is the duty of all such who are believers 
"Baptized," to draw nigh unto God in submission 
to that principle of Christs Doctrine, to wit, Prayer 
and Laying on of Hands, that they may receive the 
promise of the holy Spirit, Heb. 6.1.2. Acts 8.12, 
15, 17, Acts 19.6. 2 Tim. 1.6, whereby they may 
"mortifie the deeds of the body," Rom. 8.13, and 
live in all things answerable to their professed 
intentions, and desires, even to the honour of 
him," "who hath called them out of darkness into 
his marvellous light." 

That is is the duty of such who are constituted 
as aforesaid, to "continue stedfastly in Christs and 
the Apostles Doctrine, and assembling together, 
in fellowship, in breaking of Bread, and Prayers," 

VIII 



Acts 2.42. 

That although we thus declare for the primi- 
tive way, and order of constituting Churches, yet 
we verily believe, and also declare, that unless 
men so professing, and practising the forme and 
order of Christs Doctrine, shall also beautifie the 
same with a holy and wise conversation, in all 
godliness and honesty; the profession of the vis- 
ible form will be rendered to them of no effect; 
"for without holiness no man shall see the Lord," 
Heb. 12.14. Isa. 1.11, 12, 15, 16. That the Elders or 
Pastors which God hath appointed to oversee, 
and feed his Church (constituted as aforesaid) are 
such, who first being of the number of Disciples, 
shall in time appear to "be vigilent, sober, of good 
behavour, given to hospitality, apt to teach," & c, 
"not greedy of filthy lucre: (as too many National 
Ministers are) "but patient; not a brawler, not 
covetous," & c. and as such chose, and ordained 
to office (according to the order of Scripture, Acts 
14.23.) who in due season, and in much love to 
rule over them, with all care, seeking after such 
as go astray; but as for all such who labour to 
feed themselves with the fat, more than to feed 
the flock, Ezek. 34.2, 3. Seeking more than theirs, 
than them, expresly contrary to the practise of the 



IX 



Ministers of old, who said, "we seek not yours, 
but you/' 2 Cor. 12.14. All such we utterly deny, 
and hereby bear our continued Testimony against, 
Ezek. 34. 

That the Ministers of Christ, that have freely 
received from God, ought freely to Minister to oth- 
ers, 1 Cor. 9.17, and that such who have spiritual 
things, freely Ministered unto them, ought freely 
to communicate necessary things to the Ministers, 
(upon the account of their charge) 1 Cor. 9.11. Gal. 
6.6. And as for Tyths, or any forced Maintenance, 
we utterly deny to be the Maintenance of Gospel 
Ministers. 

That the true Church of Christ, ought after 
the first and second admonition, to reject all 
Hereticks, Titus 3.12, 11. and in the name of the 
Lord to withdraw from all such, as profess the 
way of the Lord, but walks disorderly in their 
conversations, 2 Thes. 3.6. or any wayes causes 
divisions of offences, contrary to the Doctrine 
(of Christ) which they have learned, Rom. 16.17. 
That such who are true Believers, even Branches 
in Christ the Vine, (and that in his account, whom 
he exhorts to abide in him, John 15.1, 2,3,4,5.) or 
such who have charity out of a pure heart, and of 
a good conscience, and of Faith unfeigned, 1 Tim. 



X 



1.5. may nevertheless for want of watchfulness; 
swerve and turn aside from the same, vers. 6,7. 
and become as withered Branches, cast into the 
fire and burned, John 15.6. But such "who add 
unto their Faith Vertue, and unto Vertue Knowl- 
edge, and unto knowledge Temperance/ 7 & c. 2 
Pet. 1.5,6,7. such "shall never fall/' vers. 8,9,10, 
'tis impossible for all the false Christs, and false 
Prophets, that are, and are to come, to deceive 
such, for they are "kept by the power of God 
through Faith unto Salvation, " 1 Pet. 1.5. 

That the poor Saints belonging to the Church 
of Christ, are to be sufficiently provided for by 
the Churches, that they neither want food or ray- 
ment, and this by a free and voluntary contribu- 
tion, (and not of necessity, or by the constraint or 
power of the Magistrate) 2 Cor. 9.7. 1 Cor. 8.11, 12. 
and this through the free and voluntary help of 
the Deacons, (called Overseers of the poor) being 
faithful men, chosen by the Church, and ordained 
by Prayer and Laying on of Hands, to that Work, 
Acts 6.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. So that there is no need in 
the Church of Christ, of a Magisterial compul- 
sion in this case, as there is among others, who 
being constituted in a fleshly and generational 
way, are necessitated to make use of a carnal 



XI 



sword, to compel even a small, mean, and short 
Maintenance for their poor; when as many other 
Members of their Churches can do part with great 
and large Sums of Money, to maintain their vain 
fashions, Gold, Pearls, and costly Array, which is 
expresly contrary to the Word of God, 1 Tim. 2.9, 
10. 1 Pet. 3.3. Alas, "what will such do when he 
visiteth, what will they answer him?" Job. 31.14. 

That there shall be (through Christ who was 
dead, but is alive again from the dead) a Resur- 
rection of all men from the graves of the Earth, 
Isa. 26.19 both the just and the unjust, Acts 24.15. 
that is, the fleshly bodies of men, sown into the 
graves of the earth, corruptable, dishonourable, 
weak, natural, (which so considered cannot in- 
herit the Kingdome of God) shall be raised again, 
incorruptable, in glory, in power, spiritual, and so 
considered, the bodies of the Saints, (united again 
to their spirits) which here suffer for Christ, shall 
inherit the "Kingdome, raigning" together with 
Christ, 1 Cor. 15, 21,22, 42, 44, 49. 

That there shall be after the Resurrection from 
the graves of the Earth, "An eternal Judgment," at 
the appearing of Christ, and his Kingdome, 2 Tim. 
4.1 Heb. 9.27. at which time of judgement which 
is unalterable, and irrevocable, "every man shall 



XII 



receive according to the thing done in the body/' 
2 Cor. 5.10. That the same Lord Jesus who shewed 
himself alive after his passion, by many infallible 
proofs, Acts 1.3. which was taken up from the Dis- 
ciples, and carried up into Heaven," Luke 24.51 
"Shall so come in like manner as he was seen go 
into Heaven," Acts 1.9, 10, 11. "And when Christ 
who is our life shall appear, we shall also appear 
with him in glory," Col. 3.4. For then shall he be 
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Rev. 19.16. for 
the Kingdome is his, and he is the Govemour 
among the Nations, Psal. 22.28. and King over 
all the earth, Zechl4.9. "and we shall raign (with 
him) on the Earth," Rev. 5,10. the Kingdomes of 
this World, (which men so mightily strive after 
here to enjoy) shall become the Kingdomes of 
our Lord, and his Christ, Rev. 11.15. for, "all is 
yours," (O ye that overcome this world) "for ye 
are Christs, and Christ is Gods," 1 Cor. 3.22, 23. 
"For unto the Saints shall be given the Kingdome, 
and the greatness of the Kingdome, under" (mark 
that) "the whole Heaven," Dan. 7.27. Though 
(alas) how many men be scarce content that the 
Saints should have so much as a being among 
them; but when Christ shall appear then shall be 
their day, then shall be given unto them power 



XIII 



over the Nations, to rule them with a Rod of Iron, 
Rev. 2.26, 27. then shall they receive a Crown of 
life, which no man shall take from them, nor they 
by any means turned, or overturned from it, for 
the oppressor shall be broken in pieces, Psal. 72.4. 
and their vain rejoycings turned into mourn- 
ing, and bitter Lamentations, as 'tis written, Job 
20.5,6,7. 'The triumphing of the wicked is short, 
and the joy of the Hypocrite but for a moment; 
though his excellency mount up to the Heavens 
and his head reach unto the clouds, yet shall he 
perish for ever, like his own dung; they which 
have seen him, shall say, where is he?" That the 
holy Scriptures is the rule where by Saints both 
in matters of Faithe, and conversation are to be 
regulated, they being able to make men wise unto 
salvation, through Faith in Christ Jesus, profitable 
for Doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righ- 
teousness, that the man of God may be perfect, 
throughly furnished unto all good works, 2 Tim. 
3.15, 16, 17, John 20.31. Isa. 8.20. 

That is the will, and mind of God (in these 
Gospel times) that all men should have the free 
liberty of their own CONSCIENCES in matters 
of Religion, or Worship, without the least oppres- 
sion, or persecution, as simply upon that account; 



XIV 



and that for any in Authority otherwise to act, 
we confidently believe is expresly contrary to 
the mind of Christ, who requires that whatsoever 
men would that others should do unto them, they 
should even do unto others, Mat. 7.12. and that the 
Tares, and the wheat should grow together in the 
field (which is the world) untill the harvest (which 
is the end of the world,) Mat. 13.29, 30, 38, 39. 

We believe that there ought to be civil Magis- 
trates in all Nations, "for the punishment of evil 
doers, and for the praise of them that do well/' 
1 Pet. 2.14. and that all wicked lewdness, and 
fleshly filthiness, contrary to just and wholesome 
(Civil) Laws, ought to be punished according 
to the nature of the offences; and this without 
respect of any Persons, Religion, or profession 
whatsoever; and that we and all men are obliged 
by Gospel rules, to be subject to the higher Pow- 
ers, to obey Magistrates, Tit. 3.1. "and to submit 
to every Ordinance of man for the Lords sake/ 7 as 
saith Peter 2.13 But in case the Civil Powers do, 
or shall at any time impose things about matters 
of Religion, which we through conscience to God 
cannot actually obey, then we with Peter also do 
say, that we ought (in such cases) to obey God 
rather than men; Acts 5.29. and accordingly do 



XV 



hereby declare our whole, and holy intent and 
purpose, that (through the help of grace) we will 
not yield, nor (in such cases) in the least actually 
obey them; yet humbly purposing (in the Lords 
strength) patiently to suffer whatsoever shall be 
inflicted upon us, for our conscionable forbear- 
ance. 

These things (O ye Son and Daughters of Men) 
we verily believe to be the Lords will and mind, 
and therefore cannot but speak, and if herein 
we differ from many, yea from multitudes, from 
the learned, the wise and prudent of this world, 
we (with Peter and John) do herein make our 
Solemne, and serious appeale, namely, " whether 
it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto 
men" (of a contrary perswasion) "more than unto 
God"? Oh let the judicious, judge righteous judg- 
ment! Acts 4.19, 10. 

And in the beleif e and practise of these things, 
(it being the good old Apostolical way) our souls 
have found that rest, and soulpeace, which the 
world knows not, and which they cannot take 
from us; of whom then should we be afraid? "God 
is become our strength, our light, our salvation; 
therefore," we are resolved (through grace) to 
seal the truth of these things in way of suffering 



XVI 



persecution, not only to the loss of our goods, 
freedomes, or liberties, but with our lives also (if 
called thereunto.) 

Moreover we do utterly, and from our very 
hearts, in the Lords fear, declare against all those 
wicked, and divillish reports, and reproaches, 
falsly cast upon us, as though some of us (in & 
about the City of "London") had lately GOTTEN 
KNIVES, HOOKED KNIVES, & the like, & great 
store of Arms besides what was given forth by 
order of Parliament, intending to cut the throats 
of such as were contrary minded to us in mat- 
ters of Religion, and that many such KNIVES, 
and Arms, for the carrying on some secret de- 
sign, hath been found in some of our houses by 
search; we say, from truth of heart, in the Lords 
fear, that we do utterly abhor, and abominate the 
thought thereof, and much more the actions; and 
do hereby challenge both City, and Country (in 
our innocency herein) as being not able to prove 
the things whereof they accuse us; and do for 
evermore declare the Inventors of such reports, 
to be lyers, and wicked devisers of mischeife, and 
corrupt designs; God that is above all will justifie 
our innocency herein, who well knows our integ- 
rity, in what we here declare, the Lord lay it not to 



XVII 



their charge. In the time of building the decayed 
House of God/' Sanballat and Tobiah, (" wicked 
Counsellors) hired" Shemaiah "to make good" 
Nehemiah "afraid"; and labored against him, that 
they might have "matter for an evil report," that 
they might reproach him, and hinder the building 
of the house of God, Neh. 6.12. "For I have heard 
(saith the Prophet) the defaming of many; report, 
say ney, and we will report it,: Jer. 20.10. 

Subscribed by certain Elders, Deacons, and 
Brethren met at "London," in the first Month 
(called "March," 1660.) in the behalf of them- 
selves, and many others unto whom they belong, 
in "London," and in several Countries of this Na- 
tion, who are of the same Faith with Us. 

Joseph Wright, 
William Jeffery, 
Thomas Monck, 
John Hartnoll, 
Benjamine Motley, 
Francis Stanley, 
George Hammon, 
William Smart, 
John Reeve, 
Thomas Parrot, 
John Wood, 
Francis Smith, 
Edward Jones, 
Humprhey Jones, 
Matthew Caff en, 

XVIII 



Samuel Loveday, 
John Parsons, Senior, 
Thomas Stacy, 
Edward Stanley, 
Jonathan Gennings, 
John Hammersly, 
William Russel, 
Joseph Keeich, 
Nicholas Newberry, 
Samuel Lover, 
George Wright, 
John Parsons, Junior, 
John Claton, 
Thomas Seele, 
Michaiel Wliiticar, 
Giles Browne, 
John Wells, 
Stephen Torie, 
Thomas Lathwel, 
Wiliam Chadwel, 
William Raph, 
Henry Browne, 
William Paine, 
Richard Boioin, 
Thomas Smith. 



XIX 



APPENDIX B 



THE 1812 FORMER ARTICLES 

I. We believe that there is but one living, true and 
eternal God: the Father of whom are all things 
from everlasting to everlasting, glorious and 
immutable in all his attributes, 1 Cor. viii, 6. Isa. 
xi, 28. 

II. We believe that there is one Lord Jesus Christ, 
by whom are all things the only begotten son 
of God, born of the Virgin Mary, whom God 
freely sent into this world, because of the great 
love wherewith he loved the world, and Christ 
as freely gave himself a ransom for all, tasting 
death for every man; who was buried and rose 
again the third day and ascended into Heaven, 
from whence we look for him, the second time 
in the clouds of Heaven at the last day to judge 
both quick and dead. 1 Tim. ii, 5 and 8; Heb. ii, 9: 
1 John ii, 2; Rev. i, 7; Acts xxiv, 15. 

III. We believe that there is one Holy Ghost the pre- 
cious gift of the Father, through his dear Son unto 
the world, who quickeneth and draws sinners 
home to God. John xvi, 7 and 8; Acts ii, 4; Eph. 
iv, 4,5,6. 



XX 



IV. We believe that in the beginning God made man 
up right and placed him in a state of glory without 
the least mixture of misery from which he vol- 
untarily by transgression fell, and by that means 
brought on himself, a miserable and mortal state, 
subject to death. Gen. ii, 17, & iii, 17, 18, 19. 

V. We believe that God is not willing that any should 

perish, but that all should come to repentance 
and the knowledge of the truth, that they might 
be saved; for which end Christ hath Commanded 
the Gospel to be preached among all nations, and 
to every creature. Mark xvi, 15; Luke xxiv, 47. 

VI. We believe that no man shall suffer in hell, for 
want of a Christ that died for him, but as the scrip- 
ture has said for denying the lord that bought 
them; because they believe not in the name of 
the only begotten son of God. Unbelief therefore 
being the cause why the just and righteous God 
of Heaven, will condemn the children of men, it 
follows against all contradiction, that all men at 
one time or another is found in such a capacity 
as that through the grace of God, they may be 
Eternally saved. II Peter ii, 1; I John i, 17; Acts xvii, 
30; Mark vi, 6; Heb. iii, 10; I John v, 10. 

VII. We believe the whole Scriptures are infallibly 
true, and that they are the only rule of faith and 

XXI 



practice. 



VIII. We believe in the doctrine of general Provision 
made of God in Christ, for the benefit of all man- 
kind, who repent and believe the Gospel. Luke 
xiv, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20; Mat. xxviii, 18, 10. 

IX. We believe that sinners are drawn to God the 
Father, by the Holy Ghost, through Christ, his 
son, and that the Holy Ghost offers his divine 
aid to all the human family, so as they all might 
be happy; would they give place to his divine 
teaching; whereas such who do not receive the 
divine impressions of the holy spirit, shall at a 
future day, own their condemnation just, and 
charge themselves with their own damnation, 
for wilfully rejecting the offers of sovereign grace. 
Mat. xi, 27; John vi, 44 and 66; Psalms L, 1; Titus 
ii, 11 and 12; Jer. xxii, 29. 

X. We believe that the Saints shall persevere in 
grace, and never finally fall away. John x, 27, 28 
and 29. 

XL We believe that God hath before the foundation 
of the world, chosen or elected unto Eternal life, 
such as believe in Christ; yet confident we are, 
XXII 



that the purpose of God according to election was 
not in the least arising from any foreseen faith or 
righteousness done by the creature, but only by 
the mercy goodness, and compassion, dwelling 
in God towards the creature, and so it is of him 
that calleth, whose purity cannot admit of any 
unclean person or thing in his presence. Therefore 
his decree of mercy, reaches only the Godly man; 
whom saith David, the Lord hath set apart for 
himself. John iii, 16; Rom. ix; Psalms iv, 3. 

XII. We believe that men, not considered simply as 
men, but ungodly men were of old, ordained to 
condemnation, considered such who turn the 
grace of God into lasciviousness, denying the only 
Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ that bought 
them; and therefore shall bring upon themselves 
swift destruction: but we observe that they and 
such the Apostle saith, because they receive not 
the love of the truth, that they might be saved; 
therefore the indignation and wrath of God is 
upon every soul of man that doth evil, living and 
dying therein; for there is no respect of persons 
with God. Jude i, 4; II Peter ii, 1; II Thes. ii, 10, 11, 
12; Romans ii, 9. 

XIII. We believe that all children, dying in infancy, 
having not actually transgressed against the law 

XXIII 



of God in their own person, are only subject to 
the first death which was brought on them by 
the fall of the first Adam, and not that any one of 
them dying in that state, shall suffer punishment 
in Hell by guilt of Adam's sin, for of such is the 
kingdom of God. I Cor. xv, 22; Mat. xviii, 2,3,4 and 
5; Mark ix, 36 and 37; Mat. xix. 14. 

XIV. We believe that good works are the fruits of a 
saving faith, and that in the use of the means 
of grace, and not out of the use of those means, 
eternal life is promised to men. Rev. xxii, 14 and 
15; Isa. i, 19 and 20; Mat. vii, 7 and 8; Jer. vi, 16; 
Luke xii, 34 and 35. 

XV. We believe that no man has any warrant in 
the holy scriptures for justification before God 
through his own works, power or ability which 
he has in and of himself, only as he by Grace is 
made able to come to God, through Jesus Christ; 
believing the righteousness of Jesus Christ to be 
imputed to all believers for their eternal accep- 
tance with God. Rom. iv, 24; Jer. xxii, 16. 

XVI. We believe that all things are foreseen in the 
wisdom of God, so that God knoweth whatso- 
ever can or cannot come to pass upon all sup- 



XXIV 



posed conditions, yet not as having decreed any 
person to everlasting death or everlasting life, 
out of respect or mere choice rather than he hath 
appointed the Godly unto life, and the Ungodly, 
who die in sin unto death. Heb. iv, 13; Prov. iii, 
22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30 and 31; Mat. xxv,31,32, 
33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,and 46. 

XVII. We believe as touching Gospel ordinances in 
believers Baptism, laying on of hand, receiving 
the sacrament in bread and wine, washing the 
saints feet, anointing the sick with oil in the name 
of the Lord, fasting, prayer, singing praises to God 
and the public ministry of the work, with every 
institution of the Lord, we shall find in the new 
Testament. Luke xxii, 19 and 20; John xiii, 5th 
down to the 17th; James v, 14. 

XVIII. We believe the Gospel mode of Baptism is by 
immersion, and that believers are the only sub- 
jects for Baptism. Mat. iii, 8 and 16; Mark i, 5 and 
10; Acts viii, 38 and 39; Romans vi, 4; Heb. x, 22. 

XIX. We believe in a general resurrection of the dead 
and final judgment at the last day. John v. 28 and 
29; II Cor. v, 10. 



XXV 



XX. We believe the happiness of the righteous are 
Eternal and the torment of the wicked are end- 
less. Mat. xxv, 46. 



XXVI 



APPENDIX C 



HISTORICAL SKETCH 

The English origins of the Original Free Will Bap- 
tist Denomination can be traced back to the Puritan/ 
Separatist period of the Anglican Church. During 
the reign of James I, John Smyth (7-1612), a clergy- 
man of the established church, became the pastor 
of a gathered congregation at Gainsborough. Soon 
adherents were secured and a second congregation 
gathered in the home of William Brewster at Scrooby, 
of which William Bradford was a member. These 
two men will best be remembered in reference to 
the Puritans on the Mayflower. 

John Smyth sought safety for their religious beliefs 
in Amsterdam as did the Scrooby congregation. 
The leadership of John Smyth ended in 1612? and 
a remnant of the congregation, under the leader- 
ship of Thomas Helwys and John Murton, returned 
to England in 1611? or 1612? becoming the first 
permanent Baptist congregation on English soil. 
Arminian in viewpoint, they were known therefore 
as "General Baptist/' 



XXVII 



History of the First Free Will Baptist Work in 
the United States 

Our heritage as Free Will Baptists had its first roots 
in the English General Baptists. As the colonists 
moved to the new world, they brought with them 
their beliefs. (General Baptists got their name for 
their belief in general atonement, that God's grace 
is extended to all people.) There is no record of any 
organized church in our earliest history, but very 
likely those of General Baptist belief met together 
in homes. As early as 1700, there were General 
Baptist families in North Carolina. This is known 
through their correspondence to the Kent Associa- 
tion of General Baptists in England in 1702, asking 
for a minister or for books supporting their faith. 
The association was unable to send a minister but 
collected money for books. 

One of the earliest General Baptist families was 
that of Benjamin Laker. Laker lived in Perquimans 
Precinct as early as 1685. He became a prominent 
landowner and political figure of the area. His will 
indicated a strong faith in Christ and a love for 
studying the Scriptures. Laker is further known by 
the fact that his wife's daughter later married Paul 
Palmer. 

After their marriage, Paul and Johanna Palmer 
moved to Johanna's property. But Palmer soon be- 

XXVIII 



came an important landowner in his own right. His 
marriage and influence in the colony aided his suc- 
cess as a General Baptist evangelist. Palmer helped 
to organize the first General Baptist churches in 
North Carolina, but because of his evangelistic type 
of ministry he never pastored any of the churches. In 
fact, he spent several years traveling in the northern 
states, leaving the nurturing of the new churches 
to others. 

There are three churches credited to Paul Palmer's 
efforts. The first General Baptist church in North 
Carolina was organized in 1727 in Chowan County 
near what is now Cisco. By 1729 it had 32 members 
and Joseph Parker was its pastor. The second church 
was established in 1729 by Palmer and seven others 
who filed for a license to worship in the home of Wil- 
liam Burges, its pastor. It was located in Pasquotank 
Precinct. The third church is known only by its 
mention in the diary of a traveler to North Carolina, 
Morgan Edwards. None of these churches lasted 
long as General Baptist churches. The first church 
simply disbanded after Joseph Parker moved away, 
and the second church reorganized as a Particular 
Baptist church with Calvinist doctrine in 1757. (This 
is now Shiloh Southern Baptist Church.) 

Joseph Parker is perhaps the most important 
figure in our early history. Parker helped organize 

XXIX 



the first church in 1727 and was its first and only 
pastor. But by 1730 Parker and his wife had moved 
to Meherrin near what is now Murfreesboro. Soon 
a church was established that remained General 
Baptist for fifty-nine years, and was a kind of head- 
quarters for Joseph Parker, William Parker, John 
Winfield, and other evangelists. An arm of the 
Meherrin church was established in Bertie and was 
later known as Sandy Run. Later, Parker purchased 
land in Edgecombe County and helped establish a 
church near Enfield in approximately 1748. From it 
came two additional churches. Parker is best remem- 
bered, however, for his work in the present Lenoir, 
Pitt, and Greene Counties. On December 25, 1756, 
Parker purchased land between Little and Great 
Contentnea Creek from Jacob Blount. (The deed has 
only recently been discovered.) Before 1761 Parker 
established a church on Little Contentnea Creek 
(now Little Creek Free Will Baptist Church). Arms 
from this church were extended at Wheat Swamp 
and Louson Swamp in Lenoir County, and at Gum 
Swamp in Pitt County. Having a ministry of over 
sixty-four years, Joseph Parker established a pos- 
sible nine churches in five counties. 

Another early preacher was William Parker, 
perhaps a cousin of Joseph. He co-founded Gum 
Swamp church and also established Grimsley 

XXX 



church in Greene County. The Parkers were espe- 
cially important because they always remained true 
to General Baptist belief. 

Several other men should be mentioned for their 
work: William Burges, who pastored the Pasquotank 
church established by Paul Palmer and helped 
establish another church. William Sojourner, who 
brought a number of the Burley General Baptist 
congregation in Virginia to North Carolina when 
an epidemic broke out. These people established 
a church on Kehukee Creek in Halifax County It 
and the three churches that grew from it eventu- 
ally became the core of the Kehukee Association of 
the Particular Baptists. Sojourner worked closely 
with Josiah Hart, who along with William Fulsher 
formed several other churches. One of these was Flat 
Swamp in Pitt County. It is thought that the name 
Free Will Baptist came into use in North Carolina 
when friction developed among the congregation 
at Flat Swamp, which had reorganized as Particular 
Baptists scornfully referred to the General Baptists 
as "Free-Willers/ , 

In all, by 1755 there were approximately twenty 
churches. There had been much growth in less than 
thirty years. But this period of growth was marked 
by decline and almost total extinction with the 
influence of the Particular Baptists, who believed 

XXXI 



in election rather than free will. By 1794 General 
Baptists had lost at least fifteen churches through 
either reorganization or simply lack of strength. 
Oddly enough, however, it was not the laymen who 
left their faith but their leaders. According to Da- 
vidson's Early History of Free Will Baptists, "No more 
than five percent of the General Baptist laymen had 
joined the movement/ 7 The churches at Meherrin, 
Little Creek, Pungo, and Bear Creek were the only 
ones named by Morgan Edwards in 1772 as being 
true to the General Baptist faith. Soon, however, 
Wheat Swamp, Gum Swamp, Louson Swamp and 
Grimsley became strongholds, again extensions of 
the work of the Parkers. 

By 1803, before Joseph and William Parker died, 
the term Free Will Baptists was used to refer to what 
was left of the General Baptists in the state. Dur- 
ing this period of transition James Roach and Jesse 
Heath were strong leaders. Roach succeeded Parker 
as minister at Wheat Swamp, Louson Swamp, 
Grimsley, and Gum Swamp. Heath was important 
for his correspondence on behalf of the Free Will 
Baptists in New England. In 1812 these two men 
were given the task of using the early documents 
of the General Baptists of England as a basis for the 
official confession of faith for Free Will Baptists. 

The period of decline was now over and many 

XXXII 



new churches were added — Free Will Baptist 
churches. By 1830 there were 31 churches with a 
membership of 1,892. The early 1800s were years 
of growth and organization. The first division into 
conferences was a matter of growth and problems of 
travel. The original annual conference was divided 
into Shiloh Conference to serve the eastern district 
and the Bethel Conference to serve the more inland 
churches. And the church continued to expand 
westward and southward. (All of the preceding 
information was based on An Early History of Free 
Will Baptists (1 727-1830) by Dr. William F. Davidson, 
1974, Randall House Publications.) 

Before long, however, there was another problem 
called "the Campbellite Crisis/ 7 Thomas Campbell 
of Pennsylvania and his son began a movement call- 
ing for unity of all Christians without need for a dis- 
cipline. Free Will Baptists lost a number of churches 
to the Christian denomination at this time (1840s). 
But by 1847 the remnants had joined together. 

The last half of the nineteenth century was again 
a period of growth and development. It was during 
this period that union meetings were developed, 
and the Cape Fear and Western Conferences were 
formed. This was also the period of the Civil War, 
however, and it had its influence. After slaves were 
freed, the previous arrangement of slaves' being 

XXXIII 



nonvoting members did not set well. So in 1868 a 
motion was made to organize a separate Free Will 
Baptist General Conference for those who had been 
slaves. Despite these problems, however, there was 
a constant increase in membership and churches. 

History of the Free Will Baptist Work Our 
Forefathers Knew 

The turn of the century saw more growth and 
change. The General Conference divided to form the 
Eastern and Central Conferences (1895-1896). The 
Pee Dee Conference was established in 1869, and 
the Rock Fish Conference in 1908. Also conferences 
were beginning to meet together for fellowship and 
cooperation to form what was the forerunner of the 
State Convention. Also during this period, the Free 
Will Baptist Press was formed. Despite a number 
of efforts between 1873 and 1890 that failed, it was 
finally located in Ay den in 1895, where it has re- 
mained. In 1898 an educational institution (the old 
Ay den Seminary) was opened. It grew into Eureka 
College and served until the depression of 1929 and 
the destruction of the building by fire (1932). Again, 
by 1912 Free Will Baptists lost some more churches 
to the Pentecostal movement that swept our state. 
Nevertheless, our denomination continued to grow 
and in 1912 the State Convention was officially or- 

XXXIII 



ganized to help unify the people of the state. 

The first half of the twentieth century brought 
perhaps the most productive growth from an orga- 
nizational point of view. In addition to the interest 
in the Press and in education and in the organiza- 
tion of the State Convention, there were a number 
of other developments. Between 1913 and 1920, 
when the first children were admitted, an orphan- 
age was begun. As early as 1913 missions work 
was a concern, and in 1918 a Reverend and Mrs. 
McAdams were endorsed as foreign missionaries 
by the State Convention. But until 1962 most of 
the mission efforts were in cooperation with the 
General Conference of Original Free Will Baptists 
of America, organized in Nashville, Tennessee, in 

1921. Our State Convention joined this group in 

1922, and its successor, the National Association in 
1935. The State Woman's Auxiliary Convention and 
the State League Convention were formed in 1927. 
The early 1940s brought about the organization of 
the State Sunday School Convention, and the first 
real efforts for organized aid for ministers and their 
widows. At this time also need was expressed for 
a camp for young people, and in 1945 "Craigmont 
Sanitarium" was purchased. Two conferences, the 
Albemarle (1944) and the Piedmont (1944), were 
established during the decade of the 40s. And Mount 

XXXIV 



Olive College was chartered in 1951 as Mount Allen 
Junior College and has continued to grow since its 
relocation in Mount Olive. 

History the Free Will Baptist Church Is Writing 
Today 

Much of the growth of our denomination has 
taken place in the lifetime of many of our present 
members. So there is a strong connection between 
the history of the early part of the century and the 
present. Most of us well remember the "split" in 
our denomination in the early 1960s when our 
State Convention severed its relationship with 
the National Association. The problem arose over 
ownership and control of the Free Will Baptist 
Press, differences in philosophy of education, and 
differences in practices of church government. Since 
that time, we have picked up the pieces and begun 
again. This seems to have been the constant history 
of our denomination — growth and decline. Today 
we are again experiencing a period of growth. Most 
of our progress today is being made through our 
support of our local churches and denominational 
ministries. Since the early 1960s new buildings have 
been added to the Children's Home and Cragmont; 
Mount Olive College has a new campus; the Press 
has added bookstores in Wilson, New Bern, and 

XXXV 



Kinston; we have a number of missionaries in 
Mexico, the Philipines, India, and Bulgaria; we have 
new churches being organized through our Home 
Missions work; we have one campground at Vande- 
mere. Improvements are being sought in our efforts 
of Christian education in Sunday School work. End- 
less opportunities for service continue to be found 
through our joint efforts in our auxiliary work, our 
leagues, our conferences, and our Convention. It ap- 
pears that the opportunities for service and growth 
are limitless. Perhaps now that we are becoming 
more aware of our heritage and are beginning to 
have a more trained ministry, those faithful to the 
original belief in the general atonement for believers 
will be able to withstand. To work together but still 
allow individual freedom is the foundation of the 
Free Will Baptist future. (Whatever efforts we make 
must be done for God and for the aid of our fellow 
human beings, holding fast to our faith that it was 
for all people that Christ died. The information for 
the last half of this history was gathered from An 
Introduction to Original Free Will Baptists by Floyd 
B. Cherry, printed in 1974, by the Free Will Baptist 
Press Foundation.) 



XXXVI 



XXXVII 



ARTICLES OF FAITH AND PRINCIPLES OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT FOR ORIGINAL FREE WILL BAPTISTS 

(of the English General Baptist Heritage) 
1976 Revision 

Historical calendar/notes on the Revision from minutes of NC State Convention of QFWBs, 1976-1982 

1976 minutes - p. 127 & 191. (Sept. 15, 1976) Resolution and substitute resolution to appoint a 
"committee to study and revise our discipline../' and composition thereof. 

1977 minutes - p. 111. Progress report of the subcommittee on the Revision of the Statement of Faith 
and Discipline, "Hope to have the finished document for Convention in 1978." 

1978 minutes - pp. 168-170. Report of subcommittee . . . work in progress, "will be about 2 years from 
now before it is finished." 

1979 minutes - p. 145, pp. 148-149. (Executive Committee minutes report) Chairman presented the 
finished work of the subcommittee [on Articles of Faith] to President of Convention. " All to be 
presented to individual conferences for study and be prepared to review work at State Convention in 
1979." 

1980 minutes - (No report made apparently). 

1981 minutes - p. 146. (Executive Committee minutes report) D.W. Hansley, Chairman of Revision 
Committee, presented final work of the Committee to the full Revision Committee. Work read and 
changes made. Report to be presented to Convention at the next session [1981] if possible. (Apparently 
it was not presented.) 

1982 minutes - p. 135. (Sept. 15, 1982) Rev. N. B. Barrow presented to the Convention the first printed 
copy of the new Articles of Fa it h . 

p. 143. (Executive Committee minutes of Jan. 21, 1982) "Secretary [of Convention] 
reports that we have received notification from the proper number of conferences [two-thirds] for the 
ratification of the Articles of Faith . . . Upon motion we proceed with publishing of the Articles. Motion 
carried." 

p. 144. Sept 2, 1982. Official action of State Convention made that "we are now 
operating under the new Articles of Faith." 

Note: Although referred to as the 1976 Revision (because the action was taken in 1976 to revise the 
Articles of Faith), it was not until Sept. 2, 1982 that the Revision was completed and officially adopted. 

Original Study Committee appointees: 

Eastern Conference: David W. Hansley, Bruce Dudley, Bill Futch and J. B. Starnes (alternates) 

Central Conference: Gary Bailey, N. B. Barrow 

Western Conference: De Wayne Eakes, Ray Wells 

Pee Dee Association: William J. Godwin, Jack Penny, James B. Hardee 

Cape Fear Conference: Curtis Jones, C. Felton Godwin 

Albemarle Conference: Robert May, Francis Garner, Marvin Waters (alternate) 
Piedmont Conference: James L Kivett, Fred Johnson, M. E. Cox 

By Gary Barefoot, Curator